Michal Olszanowski

Michal Olszanowski
SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities | SWPS · Faculty of Psychology

PhD

About

27
Publications
8,730
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322
Citations
Citations since 2017
21 Research Items
291 Citations
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Introduction
Michal Olszanowski currently works at the Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities. He is the head of Laboratory of Peripheral Psychophysiology. Michal does research in Cognitive Psychology, Social Psychology and Emotion. Their current project is 'Emotional mimicry in the social context.'

Publications

Publications (27)
Article
Full-text available
Emotional facial expressions play a critical role in theories of emotion and figure prominently in research on almost every aspect of emotion. This article provides a background for a new database of basic emotional expressions. The goal in creating this set was to provide high quality photographs of genuine facial expressions. Thus, after proper t...
Article
Facial features influence social evaluations. For example, faces are rated as more attractive and trustworthy when they have more smiling features and also more female features. However, the influence of facial features on evaluations should be qualified by the affective consequences of fluency (cognitive ease) with which such features are processe...
Article
Full-text available
Facial features that resemble emotional expressions influence key social evaluations, including trust. Here, we present four experiments testing how the impact of such expressive features is qualified by their processing difficulty. We show that faces with mixed expressive features are relatively devalued, and faces with pure expressive features ar...
Article
Full-text available
Facial mimicry has long been considered a main mechanism underlying emotional contagion (i.e., the transfer of emotions between people). A closer look at the empirical evidence, however, reveals that although these two phenomena often co-occur, the changes in emotional expressions may not necessarily be causally linked to the changes in subjective...
Article
Full-text available
Social resemblance, like group membership or similar attitudes, increases the mimicry of the observed emotional facial display. In this study, we investigate whether facial self-resemblance (manipulated by computer morphing) modulates emotional mimicry in a similar manner. Participants watched dynamic expressions of faces that either did or did not...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article explores emotional mimicry and its interpersonal functions under the absence versus presence of visual contact between the interacting partners. We review relevant literature and stress that previous studies on emotional mimicry were focused on imitative responses to facial displays. We also show that the rules applying to mimicking fa...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies investigated the effects of two fundamental dimensions of social perception on emotional contagion (i.e., the transfer of emotions between people). Rooting our hypotheses in the Dual Perspective Model of Agency and Communion (Abele & Wojciszke, 2014), we predicted that agency would strengthen the effects of communion on emotional cont...
Preprint
Three studies investigated the effects of two fundamental dimensions of social perception on emotional contagion (i.e., the transfer of emotions between people). Rooting our hypotheses in the Dual Perspective Model of Agency and Communion (Abele & Wojciszke, 2014), we predicted that agency would strengthen the effects of communion on emotional cont...
Poster
Full-text available
We found that the attitude resulting from the situational context does affects the intensity of the mimicry: (1) It is greater in the case of judgements that are based on affect and (2) It can be regulated. Moreover, the specific judgment tasks differentiated observers' expressions even in the absence of facial stimuli (e.g., participants frown whe...
Article
Full-text available
Social interactions require quick perception, interpretation, and categorization of faces, with facial features offering cues to emotions, intentions, and traits. Importantly, reactions to faces depend not only on their features but also on their processing fluency, with disfluent faces suffering social devaluation. The current research used electr...
Preprint
Many studies have explored the evaluative effects of vertical (up/down) or horizontal (left/right) spatial locations. However, little is known about the role of information that comes from the front and back. Based on multiple theoretical considerations, we propose that spatial location of sounds is a cue for message valence, such that a message co...
Article
Full-text available
People often assess other people’s personality traits merely based on their emotional expression or the physical features of their faces. In this paper we review the evidence of biases when formulating judgments of trustworthiness and confidence from two types of facial characteristics. One line of evidence documents the influence of emotional expr...
Article
Full-text available
In the current study, we tested the utility of a new method developed to study emotional contagion (i.e., the transfer of emotional states between people). Inspired by studies on emotional mimicry-a process that has been postulated as one of the main mechanisms leading to emotional contagion, we created a set of videos showing morphed facial expres...
Article
Although emotions are frequently treated as highly intimate experiences, much empirical evidence indicates that they primarily play interpersonal functions. Here, we briefly review this evidence and argue that the relationship between emotions and social interactions may be bi-directional (that is, emotions may both influence and be influenced by s...
Article
Full-text available
Many studies have explored the evaluative effects of vertical (up/down) or horizontal (left/right) spatial locations. However, little is known about the role of information that comes from the front and back. Based on multiple theoretical considerations, we propose that spatial location of sounds is a cue for message valence, such that a message co...
Article
The enhancement hypothesis suggests that deaf individuals are more vigilant to visual emotional cues than hearing individuals. The present eye-tracking study examined ambient-focal visual attention when encoding affect from dynamically changing emotional facial expressions. Deaf (n = 17) and hearing (n = 17) individuals watched emotional facial exp...
Preprint
This study explored whether the control mechanisms recruited for optimising performance are similar for dual-task and interference-task settings. We tested whether the frequency of appearance of a secondary task resulted in an adjustment of anticipatory and reflexive forms of attentional control, as has been observed with other interference tasks (...
Article
Full-text available
This study explored whether the control mechanisms recruited for optimising performance are similar for dual-task and interference-task settings. We tested whether the frequency of appearance of a secondary task resulted in an adjustment of anticipatory and reflexive forms of attentional control, as has been observed with other interference tasks (...
Poster
Full-text available
The aim of the study was to capture the visual processing of dynamical facial expressions during recognition of anger, sadness and happiness. We examined if we could detect differences in speed and accuracy of recognition between faces expressing motions of positive and negative signals. Half of the participants had tested as socially anxious. Resu...
Conference Paper
This paper demonstrates the utility of ambient-focal attention and pupil dilation dynamics to describe visual processing of emotional facial expressions. Pupil dilation and focal eye movements reflect deeper cognitive processing and thus shed more light on the dynamics of emotional expression recognition. Socially anxious individuals (N = 24) and n...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Theories on facial mimicry state that one of its goals is to promote affiliation. Thus, people are more likely to imitate positive emotional signals of liked others or group/family members. Interestingly similarity to familiar faces or resemblance to the judge’s face is one of the characteristics that may affect a face’s social evaluations. Own-res...
Article
Full-text available
Niniejsza praca eksploruje procesy emocji i poznania społecznego w kontekście oceniania mimicznej ekspresji emocji. Prezentowane badanie sprawdza, czy poznawczy wysiłek związany z kategoryzacją ekspresji twarzy wpływa na wnioskowanie o czytelność intencji aktora i także na chęć jego bliższego poznania przez obserwatora. Zakładano, że ekspresja emoc...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigates the cognitive mechanism underlying the control of interference during dual-task coordination. Partially inspired by the conflict monitoring hypothesis, we test the assumption that dual-task interference is resolved by a top-down adaptation mechanism that is responsible for behavioural adjustments in the prioritisation...
Article
Batty, M., & Taylor, M. J. (2003). Early processing of the six basic facial emotional expressions. Cognitive Brain Research, 17(3), 613-620. Vuilleumier, P., & Pourtois, G. (2007). Distributed and interactive brain mechanisms during emotion face perception: evidence from functional neuroimaging. Neuropsychologia, 45(1), 174-194. Winkielman, P., Ols...
Article
Full-text available
Studies presented in the article examine the effect of emotional content on working memory performance. According to Cowan model of WM we hypothesized that emotional stimuli would have higher activation which should result with better and longer availability for the central executive system. We asked participants to perform a modified Sternberg tas...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
In everyday life, people hear a lot of socially meaningful sounds, such as verbal messages. Emotional meaning of verbal sounds is contained in semantics of a spoken word as well as in it's speech tone. Here, we present perceptual ratings and a description of a freely available, large database of validated personality traits spoken in different affective tones, the Polish Verbal Sounds Database (PVSD). The database consists of 2752 verbal sounds expressing adjectives (personality traits). Spoken in Polish by four professional dubbing actors (two women and two men) in four different speech tones (neutral, cheerful, hostile and whispering), that indicated the emotional state of a sender, and with two gender specific endings (masculine and feminine).
Archived project
You walk down a busy street and scan the passing faces. Some you like, some you do not. Why? The general aim of the project is to describe the relationship between cognition, emotions and social judgments. It will be tested within everyday task – evaluation of human face. Introduced researches will test general hypothesis that easiness or difficulty in the categorization of facial emotional expression influences our basic social judgments, e.g. trustworthiness, liking etc. The main factor that impact this kind of judgments will be a “quality” of information processing. By the “quality” we may understand, that during any kind of processing, sometimes even before any specific features are extracted from the stimulus, the mental system has access to a nonspecific source of information -- the dynamics accompanying the processing of the stimulus. These non-specific aspects of processing are commonly described with use of a general term "fluency" (for reviews see Jacoby, Kelley, & Dywan, 1989; Schwarz & Clore, 1996). Unless there is an obvious external cause for feeling good or bad, affect can provide information about the current state of cognitive operations. Thus, high fluency of a perceptual or a conceptual process indicates progress toward, for example, successful recognition of the stimulus or a successful solution of a task. On the other hand, low fluency can be a signal of cognitive error or incompatibility, and play a motivational role in the revision of a processing strategy (Derryberry & Tucker, 1994). Processing dynamics can also have affective consequences because it informs (probabilistically) whether an external stimulus is good or bad. For example, it’s known, at least since Titchener (1910), that familiar stimulus elicit a “warm glow.” Conversely, illusions of familiarity (oldness) can be produced through unobtrusive inductions of positive affect (Garcia-Marques & Mackie, 2000; Phaf & Rotteveel, 2005). One reason for this warmth-familiarity link could be biological predispositions for caution in encounters with a novel, and thus potentially harmful, stimuli Zajonc (1998). Other accounts suggest that familiarity is just a learned, “fast and frugal” heuristic for easily identifying choices that are in truth objectively better (Gigerenzer, 2007). Similarly, as we discuss next, dynamics could offer a probabilistic cue regarding other valued properties of external stimuli, such as symmetry, prototypicality, etc. Most of the available evidence confirms that perceptual fluency impacts our fast and easy evaluations like “I like – I dislike” or “attractive-distractive”, however, none of them focused on so socially important feature as a human facial expression. Our everyday communication with other people largely relies on the face and facial display. Faces convey multiple types of information that are essential for inter-individual interactions. Among the many facial features, emotional expressions seem to play a central role, as they are crucial to infer the observed person’s state of mind, feelings and intentions (Plutchik, 1980; Fridlund, 1994; Ekman, 1997). Cross-cultural and psychological studies have shown that we can distinguish some categories of emotions as basic insofar as the facial displays related to these categories of emotion are similarly interpreted even among different cultures –(Ekman & Friesen, 1971). These emotions would correspond to fixed patterns of physiological activations and psychological states across individuals, and may typically occur as a response to the same kind of situations although there may be cultural variations in the extent to which they may be overtly displayed. Thus facial expressions of emotion such as fear, anger, joy, sadness, surprise, and disgust have universal form and meaning. The universality strongly implies that they may have been shaped and preserved by evolution and because of this they may have high processing fluency. The project is devoted to analyzing affective and cognitive processing of facial expression as well as processes of social categorization and evaluation of the emotional expression in the context of clarity of displayed emotion. The general objective of the project will be to elucidate the relationship between the emotional display and social judgments. More precisely, the questions that we would like to answer are: Is there a direct relation between affective processing of faces and social judgments? How do the perceptual fluency impact emotion processing and the affective evaluation of faces? We can assume that people judge other people according to emotional display, and the clarity of that display is an important source of information. The general hypotheses we will try to test within the introduced project is that: - A Clear emotional expression has high processing fluency (which suggests that its recognition involves mainly a bottom-up process, being influenced mostly by early visual processing) which may cause generally positive affective feedback used as a cue during subsequent cognitive processes (Winkielman, Halberstadt, Fazendeiro & Catty 2006). - By contrast, ambiguous or mixed emotion facial displays have low processing fluency (implying top-down processing, strongly influenced by more elaborate categorization) and as a return induce negative affective feedback, which causes more negative evaluation overall. - Additionally, we can expect that difficulty in the categorization of ambiguous expression will cause deeper analysis of facial stimuli (involvement of attentional resources and improved facial memory) and need of additional information (more interest on displayer properties).
Project
The proposed project concerns three interesting questions present in the social cognition literature: (1) Why and when do we mimic emotions?; (2) What is the impact of social context on mimicry of emotions?; and (3) What is the role of mimicry in non-verbal communication and understanding of body language? More specifically, we address two theoretically and empirically novel questions regarding facial mimicry. The first is whether under certain circumstances people are more likely to mimic negative emotions, and the second is whether the intensity of mimicry provides premise for predicting observer evaluations and action tendencies. In this project we aim to provide evidence for contextual view on emotional mimicry, which states that emotional mimicry is not only pure imitation of facial movements but also depends on the social context (Hess & Fischer, 2014).