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The effects of self-relevance vs. reward value on facial mimicry

Forbes, Paul AG and Korb, Sebastian and Radloff, Alexandra and Lamm, Claus (2021) 'The effects of self-relevance vs. reward value on facial mimicry.' Acta Psychologica, 212. ISSN 0001-6918

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Abstract

Facial mimicry is a ubiquitous social behaviour modulated by a range of social cues, including those related to reward value and self-relevance. However, previous research has typically focused on a single moderator at a time, and it remains unknown how moderators interact when studied together. We compared the influence of reward value and self-relevance, by conditioning participants to associate certain faces with winning or losing money for themselves, or, with winning or losing money for another person. After conditioning, participants watched videos of these faces making happy and angry facial expressions whilst we recorded facial electromyographic activity. We found greater smile mimicry (activation of the Zygomaticus Major muscle) in response to happy expressions performed by faces associated with participants' own outcomes vs. faces associated with another person's outcomes. In contrast to previous research, whether a face was associated with winning or losing money did not modulate facial mimicry responses. These results, although preliminary, suggest that when faces are associated with both self-relevance and reward value, self-relevance could supersede the impact of reward value during facial mimicry.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Facial mimicry, Self-bias, Reward
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2020 15:09
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2020 15:09
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/29126

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