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Catherine Éthier-Majcher, Sven Joubert, Frédéric Gosselin; Judging faces on trustworthiness and emotions. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):33. doi: 10.1167/12.9.33.
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Determining whether a person is trustworthy or not is a task of importance on a daily basis. This type of judgment based on a face helps determine the course of our social interactions and prevents people from encountering dangers. Oosterhof and Todorov (2008) have shown that judging a face on its level of trustworthiness relies on two principal dimensions: dominance and valence. Judgments along these two dimensions rely in turn on certain characteristics of a face such as inner eyebrows, cheekbones, chins and nose sellion (Todorov et al., 2008). Todorov (2008) has argued that trustworthiness judgments are an extension of emotional judgments, and that a face judged as trustworthy would be judged as happier than a face judged as untrustworthy, which in turn would be judged as angrier. However, this theory is mainly based on studies investigating explicit trustworthiness judgments, which could be driven by subjectivity. We sought to investigate this theory by using a reverse correlation technique that would help reveal and compare the implicit representations of four categories of judgments based on a face: anger, fear, happiness and trustworthiness. Our results show that the region of the mouth is of particular importance in the representation of happiness and trustworthiness judgments, whereas the region of the mouth and the region of the eyes are important in the representations of anger and fear. Results are discussed in terms of comparisons between trustworthiness judgments and emotional judgments.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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