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Early detection and avoidance of threatening faces during passive viewing.
Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2009 Jul; 62(7):1257-64.QJ

Abstract

To evaluate whether there is an early attentional bias towards negative stimuli, we tracked participants' eyes while they passively viewed displays composed of four Ekman faces. In Experiment 1 each display consisted of three neutral faces and one face depicting fear or happiness. In half of the trials, all faces were inverted. Although the passive viewing task should have been very sensitive to attentional biases, we found no evidence that overt attention was biased towards fearful faces. Instead, people tended to actively avoid looking at the fearful face. This avoidance was evident very early in scene viewing, suggesting that the threat associated with the faces was evaluated rapidly. Experiment 2 replicated this effect and extended it to angry faces. In sum, our data suggest that negative facial expressions are rapidly analysed and influence visual scanning, but, rather than attract attention, such faces are actively avoided.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA. becker54@msu.eduNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19283559

Citation

Becker, Mark W., and Brian Detweiler-Bedell. "Early Detection and Avoidance of Threatening Faces During Passive Viewing." Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2006), vol. 62, no. 7, 2009, pp. 1257-64.
Becker MW, Detweiler-Bedell B. Early detection and avoidance of threatening faces during passive viewing. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2009;62(7):1257-64.
Becker, M. W., & Detweiler-Bedell, B. (2009). Early detection and avoidance of threatening faces during passive viewing. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology (2006), 62(7), 1257-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470210902725753
Becker MW, Detweiler-Bedell B. Early Detection and Avoidance of Threatening Faces During Passive Viewing. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2009;62(7):1257-64. PubMed PMID: 19283559.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Early detection and avoidance of threatening faces during passive viewing. AU - Becker,Mark W, AU - Detweiler-Bedell,Brian, Y1 - 2009/03/09/ PY - 2009/3/14/entrez PY - 2009/3/14/pubmed PY - 2009/9/3/medline SP - 1257 EP - 64 JF - Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006) JO - Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) VL - 62 IS - 7 N2 - To evaluate whether there is an early attentional bias towards negative stimuli, we tracked participants' eyes while they passively viewed displays composed of four Ekman faces. In Experiment 1 each display consisted of three neutral faces and one face depicting fear or happiness. In half of the trials, all faces were inverted. Although the passive viewing task should have been very sensitive to attentional biases, we found no evidence that overt attention was biased towards fearful faces. Instead, people tended to actively avoid looking at the fearful face. This avoidance was evident very early in scene viewing, suggesting that the threat associated with the faces was evaluated rapidly. Experiment 2 replicated this effect and extended it to angry faces. In sum, our data suggest that negative facial expressions are rapidly analysed and influence visual scanning, but, rather than attract attention, such faces are actively avoided. SN - 1747-0226 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19283559/Early_detection_and_avoidance_of_threatening_faces_during_passive_viewing_ L2 - https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1080/17470210902725753?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub=pubmed DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -