Testing, explaining, and exploring models of facial expressions of emotions

Snoek, L., Jack, R. E. , Schyns, P. G. , Garrod, O. G.B., Mittenbühler, M., Chen, C. , Oosterwijk, S. and Scholte, H. S. (2023) Testing, explaining, and exploring models of facial expressions of emotions. Science Advances, 9(6), eabq8421. (doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abq8421) (PMID:36763663) (PMCID:PMC9916981)

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Models are the hallmark of mature scientific inquiry. In psychology, this maturity has been reached in a pervasive question—what models best represent facial expressions of emotion? Several hypotheses propose different combinations of facial movements [action units (AUs)] as best representing the six basic emotions and four conversational signals across cultures. We developed a new framework to formalize such hypotheses as predictive models, compare their ability to predict human emotion categorizations in Western and East Asian cultures, explain the causal role of individual AUs, and explore updated, culture-accented models that improve performance by reducing a prevalent Western bias. Our predictive models also provide a noise ceiling to inform the explanatory power and limitations of different factors (e.g., AUs and individual differences). Thus, our framework provides a new approach to test models of social signals, explain their predictive power, and explore their optimization, with direct implications for theory development.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jack, Professor Rachael and Garrod, Dr Oliver and Chen, Dr Chaona and Schyns, Professor Philippe and Snoek, Mr Lukas
Authors: Snoek, L., Jack, R. E., Schyns, P. G., Garrod, O. G.B., Mittenbühler, M., Chen, C., Oosterwijk, S., and Scholte, H. S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Science Advances
Publisher:American Association for the Advancement of Science
ISSN (Online):2375-2548
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2023 The Authors
First Published:First published in Science Advances 9(6): eabq8421
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
304001Computing the Face Syntax of Social CommunicationRachael JackEuropean Research Council (ERC)759796Psychology
190558Mapping the Cultural Landscape of Emotions for Social InteractionRachael JackEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K001973/1Psychology
190552DADIOS (Data-driven Analysis of the Dynamics of Information-acquisition Over time during Social judgement)Philippe SchynsEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K00607X/1Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
167641Mapping Cultural Differences in Facial Expressions of Emotion.Rachael JackBritish Academy (BRITACAD)SG113332Psychology
310397Equipping artificial agents psychologically-derived dynamic facial expressionsChaona ChenLeverhulme Trust (LEVERHUL)ECF-2020-401Psychology
172413Brain Algorithmics: Reverse Engineering Dynamic Information Processing Networks from MEG time seriesPhilippe SchynsWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)107802/Z/15/ZCentre for Cognitive Neuroimaging
172046Visual Commonsense for Scene UnderstandingPhilippe SchynsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N019261/1Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging