New Publication: A new look at emotion perception: Concepts speed and shape facial emotion recognition

When we're trying to understand how other people are feeling, do we automatically recognize expressions as "afraid" or "angry," or must we use conceptual processes to arrive at these conclusions?  A new publication by Erik Nook, Kristen Lindquist and Jamil Zaki reports data supporting the latter notion: people use emotion concepts to identify how other people are feeling.  Identifying emotions in others speeds responses to congruent emotion words, a clear indication that emotion perception primes emotion concepts.  Further, activating emotion concepts can actually shape what expression people believe they have seen others express.  Finally, pairing emotion expressions with emotion labels can help people with alexithymia accurately identify emotions in others.  For a full list of our lab's publications, click here.