Luisa Lugli, Cristina Iani, Roberto Nicoletti, Paola Ricciardelli

Emotional activation triggered by facial expression: affective priming effects in children and teenagers

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Affective Priming; Age; Emotional Face Expressions.

According to the "appraisal" theory, stimuli which are relevant for human well-being are processed primarily by the attentional system, especially those which have social characteristics (e.g., fearful faces with averted gaze direction). The purpose of this study was to investigate, using the paradigm of the affective "priming", whether and how the processing of the specific combination of emotional facial expressions and gaze directions may trigger an emotional evaluation. Furthermore we assessed whether this activation may be long lasting and influencing (i.e., facilitate or delay) the processing of a following stimulus and, more specifically, how this process may differ in two distinct age groups (children vs. teenagers). Findings showed a specific interference of emotion related to age: only the teenagers were able to process the emotional association between two stimuli.

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