Facial Expression Recognition Deficits and Faulty Learning: Implications for Theoretical Models and Clinical Applications (Report)
The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy 2009, Spring, 5, 1
The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy
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The ability to recognize facial expressions of emotion is vita l for effective social interaction. Facial expressions convey emotional cues (Adolphs, 2002, 2003; Darwin, 1872/1965; Ekman, 1992, 1993) and accurate recognition of these cues is a necessary step in the evaluation of interpersonal interactions and for the subsequent application of appropriate social skills (Collins & Nowicki, 2001; Hampson, van Anders, & Mullin, 2006; Philippot & Feldman, 1990). Research has shown support for the association between facial expression recognition (FER) abilities and social competency (Custrini & Feldman, 1989; Lancelot & Nowicki, 1997; Nowicki & Duke, 1994); relationship difficulties (Barth & Bastiani, 1997; Blair & Coles, 2000; Lancelot & Nowicki, 1997); and various psychological and psychiatric conditions (Blair et al., 2004; Penn & Combs, 2000; Russell, Chu & Phillips, 2006; Silver, Goodman, Knoll, & Isakov, 2004; van Beek & Dubas, 2008), including anxiety (Easter et al., 2005), bipolar disorder (Brotman et al., 2008), and psychopathology (Blair et al., 2004). Other studies have shown support for associations between FER deficits and childhood maltreatment (Pears & Fisher, 2005; Pollak, Cicchetti, Hornung, & Reed, 2000) and attachment (Cooley, 2005; Magai, Distel & Liker, 1995; Niedenthal, Brauer, Robin & Innes-Ker, 2002). According to emotions theorist Izard (2002), the inability to recognize nonverbal forms of emotion expression can negatively affect intra-and interpersonal behavior, and may serve as a risk factor for poor adjustment and future adverse outcomes. Although the particular mechanisms underlying FER are under debate, the study of the ability to recognize facial expressions of emotion continues to be the subject of research within various fields, including psychology (Hall, 2006; Ekman, Friesen, & Tomkins, 1971; Nowicki & Carton, 1992), psychiatry (Herba & Phillips, 2004; Wang, Lee, Sigman, & Dapretto, 2007), as well as computer science and philosophy (Adolphs, 2002). Facial expression recognition research findings have been provided from varied perspectives, such as neuroscience (Wang et al., 2007); social-cognitive processing and early childhood experiences (Masten et al., 2008; Mullins & Duke, 2004; & Pollack & Sinha, 2000); as well as perception (Pollak, Messner, Kisler, & Cohn, 2009). Other researchers have integrated information from differing fields, such as social psychology and perception (Calder, Young, Keane, & Dean, 2000; Pollak et al., 2009) and behavior studies and neuroscience (Herba & Phillips, 2004). Thus, facial recognition research appears to be bridging some of the natural gaps caused by distinct fields of investigation.
- Category: Psychology
- Published: 22 March 2009
- Publisher: Behavior Analyst Online
- Print Length: 51 Pages
- Language: English