Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
Facial expressions of emotion represent a stimulus set widely used to assess a broad range of psychological processes. However, a consideration of systematic differences between expression categories, other than differences relating to characteristics of the expressions themselves, has remained largely unaddressed. By collecting experience rankings in a large sample of undergraduates, we observed that the amount of reported experience individuals have had with different facial expressions of emotion systematically differed between all expression categories. These findings shed light on the potential for identifying confounds inherent to comparing some stimulus categories and, in this case, may aid in the interpretation of observed between-expression category findings.
Somerville, Leah H. and Whalen, Paul J., "Prior Experience as a Stimulus Category Confound: an Example using Facial Expressions of Emotion" (2006). Open Dartmouth: Faculty Open Access Scholarship. 3779.