Out of Sight but Not Out of Mind: Unseen Affective Faces Influence Evaluations and Social Impressions

Emotion (Impact Factor: 3.88). 04/2012; 12(6). DOI: 10.1037/a0027514
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Using Continuous Flash Suppression (CFS), we demonstrated in four experiments that affective information extracted from unseen faces influences both affective and personality judgments of neutral faces. In four experiments, participants judged neutral faces as more pleasant or unpleasant (Studies 1 and 2) or as more or less trustworthy, likable, and attractive (Study 3) or as more or less competent or interpersonally warm (Study 4) when paired with unseen smiling or scowling faces compared to when paired with unseen neutral faces. These findings suggest that affective influences are a normal part of everyday experience and provide evidence for the affective foundations consciousness. Affective misattribution arises even when affective changes occur after a neutral stimulus is presented, demonstrating that these affective influences cannot be explained as a simple semantic priming effect. These findings have implications for understanding the constructive nature of experience, as well as the role of affect in social impressions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The interocular suppression technique termed continuous flash suppression (CFS) has become an immensely popular tool for investigating visual processing outside of awareness. The emerging picture from studies using CFS is that extensive processing of a visual stimulus, including its semantic and affective content, occurs despite suppression from awareness of that stimulus by CFS. However, the current implementation of CFS in many studies examining processing outside of awareness has several drawbacks that may be improved upon for future studies using CFS. In this paper, we address some of those shortcomings, particularly ones that affect the assessment of unawareness during CFS, and ones to do with the use of "visible" conditions that are often included as a comparison to a CFS condition. We also discuss potential biases in stimulus processing as a result of spatial attention and feature-selective suppression. We suggest practical guidelines that minimize the effects of those limitations in using CFS to study visual processing outside of awareness.
    Frontiers in Psychology 07/2014; 5:724. DOI:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00724 · 2.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To demonstrate the influence of unconscious affective processing on consciously processed information among people with and without schizophrenia, we used a continuous flash suppression (CFS) paradigm to examine whether early and rapid processing of affective information influences first impressions of structurally neutral faces. People with and without schizophrenia rated visible neutral faces as more or less trustworthy, warm, and competent when paired with unseen smiling or scowling faces compared to when paired with unseen neutral faces. Yet, people with schizophrenia also exhibited a deficit in explicit affect perception. These findings indicate that early processing of affective information is intact in schizophrenia but the integration of this information with semantic contexts is problematic. Furthermore, people with schizophrenia who were more influenced by smiling faces presented outside awareness reported experiencing more anticipatory pleasure, suggesting that the ability to rapidly process affective information is important for anticipation of future pleasurable events.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia patients have impairments in facial affect recognition and display scanpath abnormalities during the visual exploration of faces. These abnormalities are characterized by fewer fixations on salient feature areas and longer fixation durations. The present study investigated whether social-cognitive remediation not only improves performance in facial affect recognition but also normalizes patients' gaze behavior while looking at faces.
    Schizophrenia Research 09/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.09.003 · 4.43 Impact Factor


Available from
Jul 23, 2014