To examine any difference in the recognition of, and any bias toward, facial expressions Surguladze et al. (2004), studied 27 medicated patients with depression and 29 healthy volunteers. Participants viewed 10 faces on a computer, each expressing happiness, sadness, and neutrality at both half and full levels of intensity of expression. The images were displayed for a short and a long duration. The participants labeled each stimulus with a computer joystick as one of the three options of emotion. Happy expressions, full intensity level, ...
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...short, nonsensical sentences read by the same professionals using six different tones corresponding with the same six emotions. The participants selected from a set of cards the one basic emotion they perceived for each stimuli. Videotaped fear was recognized less accurately than the other five emotions in both groups. Audiotaped surprise was recognized more by the control group than the depressed group. Both groups confused fear for sadness or surprise. The depressed group usually perceived surprise as fear. The researchers suggest those with depression could recognize emotion normally with enough information to go on (this stimuli was more dynamic than the usual photographs). Also, they are prone to perceiving neutral stimuli more negatively- a trait of depression. They conclude with the postulation this could be a judgment problem rather than a perception problem.
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