The categorical perception of emotions and traits

Ursula Hess, Reginald B. Adams, Robert E. Kleck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Facial expressions of happiness and anger have been suggested to share morphological features with certain personality markers in the face. A study was conducted to assess the hypothesis that angry and dominant faces on one hand and happy, fearful, and affiliative faces on the other hand would be categorized together based on the features they share. A total of 89 participants (22 men) completed a double oddball task. Reaction time data confirmed the hypothesis for angry/dominant and happy/affiliative faces. This supports the notion that the perceptual markers for anger and dominance as well as happiness and affiliation have some morphological characteristics in common.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)320-326
Number of pages7
JournalSocial Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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