Emotion-Color Associations in the Context of the Face

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Abstract

Facial expressions of emotion contain important information that is perceived and used by observers to understand others’ emotional state. While there has been considerable research into perceptions of facial musculature and emotion, less work has been conducted to understand perceptions of facial coloration and emotion. The current research examined emotion-color associations in the context of the face. Across 4 experiments, participants were asked to manipulate the color of face, or shape, stimuli along 2 color axes (i.e., red-green, yellow-blue) for 6 target emotions (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise). The results yielded a pattern that is consistent with physiological and psychological models of emotion.

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