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Sad people avoid the eyes or happy people focus on the eyes? Mood induction affects facial feature discrimination
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:35 authored by Peter J. Hills, Michael B. Lewis
Depressed people tend to avoid eye-contact in social situations and in experimental settings, whereas happy people actively seek eye-contact. We report an experiment in which participants made discriminations between faces that had either configural or featural changes made to the eyes, nose, or head shape. The results showed participants induced to be happy detected changes in eyes more often than participants induced to be sad, but failed to detect changes in other facial features. Sad-induced participants detected changes to the head shape but not the eyes. The results are interpreted in terms of differential use of features attended to by happy and sad participants, whereby happy people are more likely to attend to eyes during face perception than sad people.
Publication titleBritish Journal of Psychology