Voluntary expressive changes and emotion

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Examined the influence of changes in facial expression on physiological and self-report measures of emotion. In Exp I, 27 undergraduates portrayed facial expressions associated with being afraid, calm, and normal. Portraying fear produced increases in pulse rate and skin conductance relative to portraying either calm or normal, but posing had no effect on subjective reports of anxiety (Affect Adjective Check List). In Exp II, 38 Ss listened to loud or soft noise while changing their expressions to portray fear, happiness, or calmness. Portraying either fear or happiness produced greater arousal than remaining calm. Changes in facial expression failed to affect self-reports of noise loudness. Results suggest that changes in facial expression influence physiological responses through the movement involved in posing and may not influence self-reports of emotion at all. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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