Compound Social Cues in Human Face Processing

Reginald B. Adams, Robert G. Franklin, Anthony J. Nelson, Michael T. Stevenson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter describes a rationale for understanding compound social cue processing in the face. This approach comes with a number of assumptions. The first assumption is that facial features fundamentally signal social information. The second is that humans possess an innate propensity to extract this information from the face. The third assumption is that facial communication-both encoding and decoding-is innately, individually, socially, and culturally tuned. From these assumptions it is argued that visual features can perceptually determine social perception, both in terms of innate signaling(e.g., basic emotion)and learned stereotypes(e.g., racial and gender social category memberships). Vision can, in turn, moderate social interaction, arguably even playing a pivotal role in the development of complex social cognition. Also, social factors can exert powerful influences on even low-level visual processing through attentional gating and stereotypic expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Science of Social Vision
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199864324
ISBN (Print)9780195333176
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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