Facial movements strategically camouflage involuntary social signals of face morphology

Gill, D., Garrod, O. G.B., Jack, R. E. and Schyns, P. G. (2014) Facial movements strategically camouflage involuntary social signals of face morphology. Psychological Science, 25(5), pp. 1079-1086. (doi: 10.1177/0956797614522274)

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Publisher's URL: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/25/5/1079


Animals use social camouflage as a tool of deceit to increase the likelihood of survival and reproduction. We tested whether humans can also strategically deploy transient facial movements to camouflage the default social traits conveyed by the phenotypic morphology of their faces. We used the responses of 12 observers to create models of the dynamic facial signals of dominance, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. We applied these dynamic models to facial morphologies differing on perceived dominance, trustworthiness, and attractiveness to create a set of dynamic faces; new observers rated each dynamic face according to the three social traits. We found that specific facial movements camouflage the social appearance of a face by modulating the features of phenotypic morphology. A comparison of these facial expressions with those similarly derived for facial emotions showed that social-trait expressions, rather than being simple one-to-one overgeneralizations of emotional expressions, are a distinct set of signals composed of movements from different emotions. Our generative face models represent novel psychophysical laws for social sciences; these laws predict the perception of social traits on the basis of dynamic face identities.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gill, Dr Daniel and Garrod, Dr Oliver and Jack, Professor Rachael and Schyns, Professor Philippe
Authors: Gill, D., Garrod, O. G.B., Jack, R. E., and Schyns, P. G.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Psychological Science
Publisher:Sage Publications
ISSN (Online):1467-9280

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
591971DADIOS (Data-driven Analysis of the Dynamics of Information-acquisition Over time during Social judgement)Philippe SchynsEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/K00607X/1INP - CENTRE FOR COGNITIVE NEUROIMAGING