Emotion words shape emotion percepts

Gendron, M., Lindquist, K. A., Barsalou, L. and Barrett, L. F. (2012) Emotion words shape emotion percepts. Emotion, 12(2), pp. 314-325. (doi: 10.1037/a0026007) (PMID:22309717) (PMCID:PMC4445832)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.


People believe they see emotion written on the faces of other people. In an instant, simple facial actions are transformed into information about another's emotional state. The present research examined whether a perceiver unknowingly contributes to emotion perception with emotion word knowledge. We present 2 studies that together support a role for emotion concepts in the formation of visual percepts of emotion. As predicted, we found that perceptual priming of emotional faces (e.g., a scowling face) was disrupted when the accessibility of a relevant emotion word (e.g., anger) was temporarily reduced, demonstrating that the exact same face was encoded differently when a word was accessible versus when it was not. The implications of these findings for a linguistically relative view of emotion perception are discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Barsalou, Professor Lawrence
Authors: Gendron, M., Lindquist, K. A., Barsalou, L., and Barrett, L. F.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Emotion
Publisher:American Psychological Association
ISSN (Online):1931-1516

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record