The generalized discrimination of facial expressions by seven-month-old infants.Child Dev. 1985 Feb; 56(1):58-61.CD
2 experiments were conducted to examine 7-month-old infants' perception of the facial expressions happy and fear. Using a paired-comparison procedure, infants in the first experiment were able to generalize their discrimination of these 2 expressions across the faces of 4 male and female models if they were first presented with the set of happy faces, but not if they were first presented with the set of fear faces. A second experiment was conducted to examine the source of the stimulus presentation order effect. Here a second group of 7-month-old infants was presented with a single male or female face posing both the happy and fear expressions simultaneously. The results revealed significantly longer looking to the fear face. This preference to look at fear faces is discussed, as are its implications for studies of expression recognition in general.