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Effects of Brain Laterality on Decoding Accuracy for Facial Displays of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  Effects of Brain 15 Of final interest in the present experiment is the extent to which decoding accuracy may vary simply as a function of the specific emotion being expressed. Some research suggests that pleasant emotions are easier to decode accurately than unpleasant ones (e.g., Custrini & Feldman, 1989; Feinman & Feldman, 1982; Horatcsu & Ekinci, 1992). Other research indicates, instead, that expressions of emotions that are similar in their intensity, valence, and level of engagement will be more difficult to distinguish than expressions of emotions with dissimilar intensity, valence, or engagement (e.g., Schlosberg, 1952, 1954; Wagner et al., 1986; Wiggers, 1982). Thus, one might have difficulty discriminating between expressions of anger and expressions of disgust, but would be less likely to have difficulty discriminating between expressions of anger and expressions of joy. It may also be the case that expressions of emotions that are basic or primary (such as happiness, sadness, or fear) are easier to decode accurately than expressions of emotions that are more complex (such as interest or determination). To address the potential effects of the type of emotion on decoding accuracy, we posed a final research question: RQ4: How is decoding accuracy for facial affect displays affected by the specific emotion being displayed, if at all? Method Participants Participants (N = 531) were 208 male and 323 female undergraduate communication students from a large university in the Southwestern United States. Participants ranged in age from 16 to 54 years (M = 22.59 years, SD = 4.32). 3

Authors: Floyd, Kory. and Mikkelson, Alan.
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Effects of Brain 15
Of final interest in the present experiment is the extent to which decoding accuracy may
vary simply as a function of the specific emotion being expressed. Some research suggests that
pleasant emotions are easier to decode accurately than unpleasant ones (e.g., Custrini &
Feldman, 1989; Feinman & Feldman, 1982; Horatcsu & Ekinci, 1992). Other research indicates,
instead, that expressions of emotions that are similar in their intensity, valence, and level of
engagement will be more difficult to distinguish than expressions of emotions with dissimilar
intensity, valence, or engagement (e.g., Schlosberg, 1952, 1954; Wagner et al., 1986; Wiggers,
1982). Thus, one might have difficulty discriminating between expressions of anger and
expressions of disgust, but would be less likely to have difficulty discriminating between
expressions of anger and expressions of joy. It may also be the case that expressions of emotions
that are basic or primary (such as happiness, sadness, or fear) are easier to decode accurately than
expressions of emotions that are more complex (such as interest or determination). To address
the potential effects of the type of emotion on decoding accuracy, we posed a final research
question:
RQ4: How is decoding accuracy for facial affect displays affected by the specific
emotion being displayed, if at all?
Method
Participants
Participants (N = 531) were 208 male and 323 female undergraduate communication
students from a large university in the Southwestern United States. Participants ranged in age
from 16 to 54 years (M = 22.59 years, SD = 4.32).
3


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