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Title: Tears make you look sadder even when you are scowling or smiling : exploring the sadness enhancement effect of emotional tears
Authors: Ong, Chew Wei
Keywords: Social sciences::Psychology::Affection and emotion
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Source: Ong, C. W. (2020). Tears make you look sadder even when you are scowling or smiling : exploring the sadness enhancement effect of emotional tears. Doctoral thesis, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
Abstract: Emotional tears on crying faces have been reliably shown to enhance the perception of sadness. I aimed to address in this dissertation some of the research gaps regarding the emotion perception of tears, including the effect of tears on the perception of non-sadness emotions, the automaticity and high efficiency in perceiving tears, and the contextual influence on the sadness enhancement effect of tears. Studies 1a and 1b used self-report measures of perceived emotions and found that the addition of tears consistently made the facial expressions look sadder but did not have a consistent impact on the perception of other emotions (i.e., anger, disgust, fear, surprise, and happiness). This sadness enhancement effect of tears can also occur automatically. Using the Implicit Association Test (IAT; Greenwald et al., 1998), Studies 2a and 2b showed that participants displayed a strong tendency to associate tears with sadness and negative affect efficiently with little or no control. Studies 3a and 3b found no evidence that the presence of contextual information could serve as a boundary condition for the sadness enhancement effect of tears, but instead further demonstrated the robustness of the effect of tears. Even when the tearful expressions were presented along with an additional context (i.e., a body posture or an emotional scene), participants reported perceiving the tearful expressions as sadder than the tearless ones. Gender and cultural differences in the effect of tears were not found. As a whole, this dissertation demonstrated that emotional tears were consistently perceived as an indication of sadness and offered directions in further exploring the effect of tears on emotion perception.
DOI: 10.32657/10356/150682
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20230624
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SSS Theses

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