Peter Khooshabeh, Jonathan Gratch, Lixing Huang, J. Tao: “Does culture affect the perception of emotion in virtual faces?”

July 24, 2011 | Toulouse, France

Speaker: Peter Khooshabeh, Jonathan Gratch, Lixing Huang, J. Tao
Host: International Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization

Previous research, which has used images of real human faces and mostly from the same facial expression database [Matsumoto and Ekman 1988], has shown that individuals perceive emotions universally across cultures. We conducted an experiment to determine whether culture affects the perception of emotions rendered on virtual faces. Specifically, we test the holistic perception hypothesis that individuals from collectivist cultures, such as East Asians, visually sample information from central regions of the face (near the top of the nose by the eyes), as opposed to sampling from specific features of the face. If the holistic perception hypothesis is true, then individuals will confuse emotional facial expressions that are different in terms of the shape of the mouth facial feature. Our stimuli were computer generated using a face graphical rendering tool, which affords a high level of experimental control for perception researchers.