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When smiles (and frowns) speak words : does power impact the correspondence between self-reported affect and facial expressions?

Leach, S. and Weick, M. (2020) 'When smiles (and frowns) speak words : does power impact the correspondence between self-reported affect and facial expressions?', British journal of psychology., 111 (4). pp. 683-701.

Abstract

Self-reported experiences are often poor indicators of outward expressions. Here we examine social power as a variable that may impact the relationship between self-reported affect and facial expressions. Earlier studies addressing this issue were limited by focusing on a single facial expression (smiling) and by using different, less sensitive methods that yielded mostly null results. Sampling, for the first time, self-reported affect repeatedly in response to different negative, neutral and positive stimuli, and measuring concurrent facial muscle activation via electromyography, we found that high power (vs. baseline) increased the correspondence between self-reported positive affect and smiling. There was also an indication that high power (vs. baseline) bolstered the association between self-reported negative affect and frowning but the effect did not pass more stringent criteria for significance (p ≤ .005) and was therefore deemed inconclusive. The prediction that low power (vs. baseline) decreases the correspondence between self-reported affect and smiling and frowning facial expressions was not supported. Taken together, it would appear that (high) power can impact the relationship between self-reported affect and facial expressions, but it remains to be seen whether this effect extends beyond smiling facial expressions.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12433
Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Leach, S. & Weick, M. (2020). When smiles (and frowns) speak words: Does power impact the correspondence between self-reported affect and facial expressions? British Journal of Psychology 111(4): 683-701, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/bjop.12433. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:31 October 2019
Date deposited:05 November 2019
Date of first online publication:03 January 2020
Date first made open access:03 January 2021

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