[Face-research-list] Literature on ambiguos facial expression.

Michal Olszanowski molszanowski at swps.edu.pl
Thu Aug 2 19:43:01 BST 2012

Dear All,

I'm looking for a literature on social perception on ambiguous facial
expression. I have a feeling that there's not many on this – except
perception of displayed emotion and the influence of the context and
individual differences (e.g. anxiety). However, what I’m looking for
is how people interpreted the meaning of ambiguous emotional
expression during social interaction (e.g. what are displayer’s
intention or action request?).

Secondly, do you know any literature showing that negative/angry
display might be less readable  than positive displays in terms of
displayer’s intention and action request? There’s a lot of literature
that show  influence of culture/social norms on facial expression
during social interaction, e.g. western cultures are less likely to
show anger to strangers (cause it might be acknowledge as impolite).
So, during social interaction we should rather expect stranger to
smile than to frown. Consequently, if someone is smiling it is natural
that he/she’s trying to be nice, on the other hand  if he/she’s
showing anger, there might be a lot of reasons for such a behavior
and  his/her intention remain unclear… I don’t know whether you’d
support my way of thinking, but if you do, and additionally have some
research on this, please let me know! :-)

I’d appreciate your help!

Michal Olszanowski, PhD.
Warsaw School of Social Sciences & Humanities
Faculty of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Department
Chodakowska Street 19/31, PL - 03815 Warsaw
www.swps.pl, www.emotional-face.org

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