Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2019

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Dr. Mary Radeke

Second Committee Member

Dr. Tonya Buchanan

Third Committee Member

Dr. Susan Lonborg

Abstract

This study used three dynamic and three static images of older adult men depicting either smiling, scowling, or neutral facial expressions to examine the influence of motion on emotion identification and stereotype activation, specifically the Halo Effect, in older adults (55-85 years). To that end, two hypotheses emerged: 1) older adults will be more accurate in identifying facial expressions when viewing dynamic facial expressions than static facial expressions, and 2) participants exposed to the dynamic stimuli would experience greater levels of the Halo Effect with the greatest levels in the smiling facial expression condition. A 2 (stimulus type: dynamic and static) x 3 (Facial expression: smile, neutral, scowl) mixed design was used. Two hundred participants between the ages of 55 and 85 years, viewed either a dynamic model exhibiting smiling, neutral, and scowling facial expressions, or a static model exhibiting smiling, neutral, and scowling facial expressions. To investigate the role of motion on emotion identification an emotion accuracy question was used. Additionally, two measures assessed the presence of the Halo Effect: The Self-Assessment Manikin (e.g., arousal, dominance, and pleasure) and four social perception questions (e.g., attractiveness, honesty, pleasing to look at, and threatening). Results indicate that participants were more accurate when identifying static scowling and smiling facial expressions and the dynamic neutral facial expression. Participants also attributed more positive traits to static rather than dynamic facial expressions.

Available for download on Saturday, June 20, 2020

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