Putting “Context” in Context: The Effects of Body Posture and Emotion Scene on Adult Categorizations of Disgust Facial Expressions

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Affective face perception is influenced by nonfacial contextual elements. However, investigations often conflate body posture and emotion scene, making it unclear whether posture or the combination of posture and scene produces perception-altering effects. This study examined adults’ categorizations of disgust facial expressions superimposed onto isolated emotion postures or postures embedded in emotion scenes. Results indicated that emotional postures exerted a significant contextual effect on adults’ emotion categorizations of disgust faces. Of note, postures in emotion scenes exerted a stronger contextual effect than isolated postures for sadness and fear contexts. These findings suggest that contextual elements exert varying degrees of influence on emotion perception and produce combinatorial effects.

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