Open Access Senior Thesis
© 2014 Casey Maas
Facial expressions provide valuable information in making judgments about internal emotional states. Evaluation of facial expressions can occur through mimicry processes via the mirror neuron system (MNS) pathway, where a decoder mimics a target’s facial expression and proprioceptive perception prompts emotion recognition. Female participants rated emotional facial expressions when mimicry was inhibited by immobilization of facial muscles and when mimicry was uncontrolled, and were evaluated for self-expressiveness level. A mixed ANOVA was conducted to determine how self-expressiveness level and manipulation of facial muscles impacted recognition accuracy for facial expressions. Main effects of self-expressiveness level and facial muscle manipulation were not found to be significant (p > .05), nor did these variables appear to interact (p > .05). The results of this study suggest that an individual’s self-expressiveness level and use of mimicry processes may not play a central role in emotion recognition.
Maas, Casey, "Decoding Faces: The Contribution of Self-Expressiveness Level and Mimicry Processes to Emotional Understanding" (2014). Scripps Senior Theses. 406.