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Sad people are more accurate at face recognition than happy people

Hills, Peter James, Werno, Magda A. and Lewis, Michael Bevan 2011. Sad people are more accurate at face recognition than happy people. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4) , pp. 1502-1517. 10.1016/j.concog.2011.07.002

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Mood has varied effects on cognitive performance including the accuracy of face recognition (Lundh & Ost, 1996). Three experiments are presented here that explored face recognition abilities in mood-induced participants. Experiment 1 demonstrated that happy-induced participants are less accurate and have a more conservative response bias than sad-induced participants in a face recognition task. Using a remember/know/guess procedure, Experiment 2 showed that sad-induced participants had more conscious recollections of faces than happy-induced participants. Additionally, sad-induced participants could recognise all faces accurately, whereas, happy- and neutral-induced participants recognised happy faces more accurately than sad faces. In Experiment 3, these effects were not observed when participants intentionally learnt the faces, rather than incidentally learnt the faces. It is suggested that happy-induced participants do not process faces as elaborately as sad-induced participants.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords: Face recognition; Mood induction; Sad mood; Attentional biases
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1053-8100
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2020 08:21

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