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The purpose of this study was to compare emotion and personality trait attributions to facial expression between American and Indian samples. Data were collected using’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk). Participants in this study were asked to correctly identify the emotion and make inferences from pictures of three different facial expressions (scowling, frowning, and smiling) of young white females and males in six photographs. Each picture was randomly presented for 10 seconds followed by four randomized questions about the individual in the picture. The first question asked participants to identify the emotion shown from a list of six emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise). The next three questions consisted of a) condensed sets of the Big Five personality traits, b) the three Self-Assessment Manikin dimensions (SAM), ands) various social perceptions. Smiling facial expressions were hypothesized to be inferred as happy and to have the following positive inferences in both cultures: attractive, not threatening, agreeable, extroverted, and pleasing to look at, positive, conscientious, and open-minded a “Halo Effect.” Scowling facial expressions were hypothesized to have the following attributions: anger, unattractive, threatening, excitable, close-minded, not pleasing to look at, bad, negative, dominant, disagreeable, and unconscientiously a “Horns Effect.” Frowning facial expressions were hypothesized to be perceived as: sad, unattractive, good, submissive, not threatening, not pleasing to look at, positive, and calm anin-between effect. Generally, results showed that both cultures attributed the hypothesized emotional and trait attributions to the six facial expressions for all four questions, except for the Indians on the scowling female facial expression across each of the four questions.


This article was originally published Open Access in The International Journal of Indian Psychology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


The International Journal of Indian Psychology

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


© 2017 Swiney J K & Stahelski A J; licensee IJIP.