Are you smiling, or have I seen you before? Familiarity makes faces look happier

Evan W. Carr , Timothy F. Brady , Piotr Winkielman


It is clear that unreinforced repetition (familiarization) influences affective responses to social stimuli, but its effects on the perception of facial emotion are unknown. Reporting the results of two experiments, we show for the first time that repeated exposure enhances the perceived happiness of facial expressions. In Experiment 1, using a paradigm in which subjects’ responses were orthogonal to happiness in order to avoid response biases, we found that faces of individuals who had previously been shown were deemed happier than novel faces. In Experiment 2, we replicated this effect with a rapid “happy or angry” categorization task. Using psychometric function fitting, we found that for subjects to classify a face as happy, they needed less actual happiness to be present in the face if the target was familiar than if it was novel. Critically, our results suggest that familiar faces appear happier than novel faces because familiarity selectively enhances the impact of positive stimulus features
Author Evan W. Carr
Evan W. Carr,,
, Timothy F. Brady
Timothy F. Brady,,
, Piotr Winkielman (Wydział Psychologii)
Piotr Winkielman,,
- Wydział Psychologii
Journal seriesPsychological Science, ISSN 0956-7976, (A 45 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets0.75
Keywords in Englishfamiliarity, affect, perception, facial expressions, exposure
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Additional file
Oswiadczenie_Winkielman_Are you smiling.pdf 112.52 KB
Score (nominal)45
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 2.833; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 6.128 (2) - 2017=7.37 (5)
Citation count*17 (2020-12-01)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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