Poster A115, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Seen and heard emotions of a crowd alter perception and state affect
Sarah C. Izen1, Xenia Leviyah1, Vivian M. Ciaramitaro; 1University of Massachusetts Boston
Being able to correctly interpret the emotional state of others is crucial for social interaction. In our daily lives, we are constantly exposed to emotional information conveyed by multiple sources, such as faces and voices, which must be successfully integrated. We used an adaptation paradigm to examine how hearing emotional crowd sounds (positive or negative) concurrent with a crowd of happy faces would bias judgements of facial emotion and state affect or mood. For each participant, we determined the face judged emotionally neutral before adaptation and quantified how judgments of this neutral face changed after adaptation. We predicted emotional sounds would change judgments of emotional faces and mood most when the valence of seen and heard emotions matched (congruent) than when it did not match (incongruent). We found no significant difference in perceptual biases between congruent and incongruent emotions. To confirm that our stimuli were emotionally salient we quantified changes in state affect, or mood, following the same emotional exposure (congruent, incongruent, as well as visual alone) under different attentional states: attention directed to the emotion of the faces or directed away to face gender. State affect was assessed before and after adaptation via the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). We found significant differences in mood post-adaptation for congruent compared to incongruent conditions only when attention was directed to the emotion, but not to the gender, of the faces. Our results suggest that emotional processing is not purely automatic and can be altered by attention.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Multisensory