Mood and Perception

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How might emotion interact with a person's interpretation of facial expressions? How might a person's current mood interact with interpreting the mood of others? Might this change with age and culture? Research Study “Mood and Perception”

The “Mood and Perception” study is a test on how a person's mood can affect their interpretation of another's expressions; including facial expressions and tone of voice. The study shows a variety of audio clips, video clips, and a composite of the two together. During the experiment the students are asked to grade each clip on scales, to explain what kind of emotion they believe it is giving off. The results of the experiment fluctuate because each person's perception differs with the mood and emotions they are feeling at the time. Also, the opinions change between person to person because of their age, racial background, mental state, and cultural beliefs. These differences are present because the study is being experimented on people with different secondary emotions.

In the study, people's emotions affect their interpretation of the voices and faces. The random sentences shown at the beginning of the test frustrated the experimenters before the actual test even began. Their aggravation is reflected in their results as they perceived the peoples' expressions in a negative way. If someone goes into a situation with a negative attitude their observations will not be the same if they are to go into the same circumstance with a positive demeanor. In the book Invitation to Psychology it notes that “facial expressions of emotion can generate emotions in others, which is why moods can literally be contagious. When people see pictures of facial expressions of emotion or other nonverbal emotional signals, their own facial muscles subtly mimic the ones they are observing” (420). After this fact the book raises the question, if a person is in a joyful mood and they approach another with a depressed mood, doesn't that person feel...
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