Emotion Transference

Did you know that objects can grab properties from nearby objects?  This is referred to as illusory conjunction.

Well, according to Scientific American this is true not just of objects, but of social beings such as human, more specifically their faces.

They report that researchers at Arizona State have documented that male faces are more likely than female faces to ‘grab’ the anger from an adjacent face.  Female faces, on the on other hand, are more likely to ‘grab’ happiness from an adjacent face.

Their findings published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology indicate that it is not just a matter of the participants both male and female seeing male faces as more angry and female faces as more happy but that the errors were most common when the emotion came from the adjacent face.

However, it is important to remember that this “grabbing” of emotion can be influenced by biases we hold.  Our expectations do shape perceptions as well as misperceptions.

What are your thoughts on this research?  Have you noticed this in your real world experiences?

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