Advertisement

Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 101–117 | Cite as

Sad and Lonely? Sad Mood Suppresses Facial Mimicry

  • Katja U. Likowski
  • Peter Weyers
  • Beate Seibt
  • Christiane Stöhr
  • Paul Pauli
  • Andreas Mühlberger
Original Paper

Abstract

The aim of the current study was to investigate the influence of happy and sad mood on facial muscular reactions to emotional facial expressions. Following film clips intended to induce happy and sad mood states, participants observed faces with happy, sad, angry, and neutral expressions while their facial muscular reactions were recorded electromyografically. Results revealed that after watching the happy clip participants showed congruent facial reactions to all emotional expressions, whereas watching the sad clip led to a general reduction of facial muscular reactions. Results are discussed with respect to the information processing style underlying the lack of mimicry in a sad mood state and also with respect to the consequences for social interactions and for embodiment theories.

Keywords

Mood state Facial emotional expression Facial mimicry Information processing EMG 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The research was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG WE2930/2-1) and a Postdoc-grant from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to the third author (SE 1121/3-1).

References

  1. Alloy, L. B., Fedderly, S. S., Kennedy-Moore, E., & Cohan, C. L. (1998). Dysphoria and social interaction: An integration of behavioral confirmation and interpersonal perspectives. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1566–1579.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aronoff, J., Barclay, A. M., & Stevenson, L. A. (1988). The recognition of threatening facial stimuli. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 647–665.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aronoff, J., Woike, B. A., & Hyman, L. M. (1992). Which are the stimuli in facial displays of anger and happiness? Configurational bases of emotion recognition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 1050–1066.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bailenson, J. N., & Yee, N. (2005). Digital chameleons: Automatic assimilation of nonverbal gestures in immersive virtual environments. Psychological Science, 16, 814–819.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bavelas, J. B., Black, A., Lemery, C. R., & Mullett, J. (1986). “I show how you feel”: Motor mimicry as a communicative act. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 322–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bourgeois, P., & Hess, U. (2008). The impact of social context on mimicry. Biological Psychology, 77, 343–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chartrand, T. L., & Bargh, J. A. (1999). The chameleon effect: The perception–behavior link and social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 893–910.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chartrand, T. L., Maddux, W. W., & Lakin, J. L. (2005). Beyond the perception–behavior link: the ubiquitous utility and motivational moderators of nonconscious mimicry. In R. R. Hassin, J. S. Uleman, & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), The new unconscious (pp. 334–361). New York: Oxford University Press Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Coyne, J. C. (1976). Depression and the response of others. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 316–336.Google Scholar
  10. Davis, M. (1980). A multidimensional approach to individual differences in empathy. JSAS Catalogue of Selected Documents in Psychology, 10, 85.Google Scholar
  11. Derryberry, D., & Tucker, D. M. (1994). Motivating the focus of attention. In P. M. Niedenthal & S. Kitayama (Eds.), Heart’s eye: Emotional influences in perception and attention (pp. 167–196). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dimberg, U. (1982). Facial reactions to facial expressions. Psychophysiology, 19, 643–647.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Dimberg, U. (1988). Facial electromyography and the experience of emotion. Journal of Psychophysiology, 2, 277–282.Google Scholar
  14. Dimberg, U., & Lundqvist, L.-O. (1990). Gender differences in facial reactions to facial expressions. Biological Psychology, 30, 151–159.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dimberg, U., & Petterson, M. (2000). Facial reactions to happy and angry facial expressions: Evidence for right hemisphere dominance. Psychophysiology, 37, 693–696.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dimberg, U., Thunberg, M., & Elmehed, K. (2000). Unconscious facial reactions to emotional facial expressions. Psychological Science, 11, 86–89.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dimberg, U., Thunberg, M., & Grunedal, S. (2002). Facial reactions to emotional stimuli: Automatically controlled emotional responses. Cognition and Emotion, 16, 449–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1976). Pictures of facial affect. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  19. Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1978). The Facial Action Coding System. Palo Alto: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  20. Findlay, J. M., & Gilchrist, I. D. (2003). Active vision: The psychology of looking and seeing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Fridlund, A. J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Guidelines for human electromyographic research. Psychophysiology, 23, 567–589.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Friesen, W. V., & Ekman, P. (1984). EMFACS-7 Unpublished manuscript. Human Interaction Laboratory. San Francisco: University of California.Google Scholar
  23. Green, J. D., & Sedikides, C. (1999). Affect and self-focused attention revisited: The role of affect orientation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 104–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gump, B. B., & Kulik, J. A. (1997). Stress, affiliation, and emotional contagion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 305–319.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Herrera, P., Bourgeois, P., & Hess, U. (1998). Counter mimicry effects as a function of racial attitudes. Poster presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Society for Psychophysiological Research. Colorado: Denver.Google Scholar
  26. Hess, U. (2001). The communication of emotion. In A. Kaszniak (Ed.), Emotions, qualia and consciousness (pp. 397–409). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing.Google Scholar
  27. Hewig, J., Hagemann, D., Seifert, J., Gollwitzer, M., Naumann, E., & Bartussek, D. (2005). A revised film set for the induction of basic emotions. Cognition and Emotion, 19, 1095–1109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Krohne, H. W., Egloff, B., Kohlmann, C.-W., & Tausch, A. (1996). Investigations with a German version of the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Diagnostica, 42, 139–156.Google Scholar
  29. Krumhuber, E., & Kappas, A. (2005). Moving smiles: The role of dynamic components for the perception of the genuineness of smiles. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 29, 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lakin, J. L., & Chartrand, T. L. (2003). Using nonconscious behavioral mimicry to create affiliation and rapport. Psychological Science, 14, 334–339.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lakin, J. L., Jefferis, V. E., Cheng, C. M., & Chartrand, T. L. (2003). The chameleon effect as social glue: Evidence for the evolutionary significance of nonconscious mimicry. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 145–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lanzetta, J. T., & Englis, B. G. (1989). Expectations of cooperation and competition and their effects on observers’ vicarious emotional responses. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 543–554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Larsen, J. T., Norris, C. J., & Cacioppo, J. T. (2003). Effects of positive and negative affect on electromyographic activity over zygomaticus major and corrugator supercilii. Psychophysiology, 40, 776–785.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Likowski, K. U., Mühlberger, A., Seibt, B., Pauli, P., & Weyers, P. (2008). Modulation of facial mimicry by attitudes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1065–1072.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lundqvist, L.-O. (1995). Facial EMG reactions to facial expressions: A case of facial emotional contagion? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 36, 130–141.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lundqvist, D., Flykt, A., & Öhman, A. (1998). The Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces––KDEF, CD ROM from Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Psychology section, Karolinska Institutet, ISBN 91-630-7164-9.Google Scholar
  37. McHugo, G. J., Lanzetta, J. T., & Bush, L. K. (1991). The effect of attitudes on emotional reactions to expressive displays of political leaders. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 15, 19–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Mondillon, L., Niedenthal, P. M., Gil, S., & Droit-Volet, S. (2007). Imitation of in-group versus out-group members’ facial expressions of anger: A test with a time perception task. Social Neuroscience, 2, 223–237.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moody, E. J., McIntosh, D. N., Mann, L. J., & Weisser, K. R. (2007). More than mere mimicry? The influence of emotion on rapid facial reactions to faces. Emotion, 7, 447–457.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Niedenthal, P. M. (2007). Embodying emotion. Science, 316, 1002–1005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Niedenthal, P. M., Brauer, M., Halberstadt, J. B., & Innes-Ker, A. H. (2001). When did her smile drop? Contrast effects in the influence of emotional state on the detection of change in emotional expression. Cognition and Emotion, 15, 853–864.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Niedenthal, P. M., Halberstadt, J. B., Margolin, J., & Innes-Ker, A. H. (2000). Emotional state and the detection of change in facial expression of emotion. European Journal of Social Psychology, 30, 211–222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Paulus, C. (2000). Der Saarbrücker Persönlichkeitsfragebogen SPF (IRI). [The Saarbrücker Personality Inventory SPF (IRI)]. [Web document]. Retrieved from http://www.uni-saarland.de/fak5/ezw/abteil/motiv/paper/SPF(IRI).pdf.
  44. Paulus, C. (2009). Der Saarbrücker Persönlichkeitsfragebogen SPF (IRI) zur Messung von Empathie: Psychometrische Evaluation der deutschen Version des Interpersonal Reactivity Index. [The Saarbrueck Personality Questionnaire on Empathy: Psychometric evaluation of the German version of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index]. [Web document]. Retrieved from http://psydok.sulb.uni-saarland.de/volltexte/2009/2363/.
  45. Salovey, P. (1992). Mood-induced self-focused attention. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 699–707.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Schrammel, F., Pannasch, S., Graupner, S. T., Mojzisch, A., & Velichkovsky, B. M. (2009). Virtual friend or threat? The effects of facial expression and gaze interaction on psychophysiological responses and emotional experience. Psychophysiology, 46, 922–931.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Schwarz, N., & Clore, G. (1996). Feelings and phenomenal experiences. In E. T. Higgins & A. W. Kruglanski (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 433–465). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  48. Sedikides, C. (1992). Mood as a determinant of attentional focus. Cognition and Emotion, 6, 129–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Silvia, P. J., Phillips, A. G., Baumgaertner, M. K., & Maschauer, E. L. (2006). Emotion concepts and self-focused attention: Exploring parallel effects of emotional states and emotional knowledge. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 229–235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sloan, D. M., Bradley, M. M., Dimoulas, E., & Lang, P. J. (2002). Looking at facial expressions: Dysphoria and facial EMG. Biological Psychology, 60, 79–90.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sonnby-Borgström, M., Jönsson, P., & Svensson, O. (2003). Emotional empathy as related to mimicry reactions at different levels of information processing. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Spencer-Smith, J., Wild, H., Innes-Ker, A. H., Townsend, J., Duffy, C., Edwards, C., et al. (2001). Making faces: Creating three-dimensional parameterized models of facial expression. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments & Computers, 33, 115–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tiedens, L. Z., & Linton, S. (2001). Judgment under emotional certainty and uncertainty: the effects of specific emotions on information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 973–988.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. van Baaren, R. B., Fockenberg, D. A., Holland, R. W., Janssen, L., & van Knippenberg, A. (2006). The moody chameleon: The effect of mood on non-conscious mimicry. Social Cognition, 24, 426–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. van der Velde, S. W., Stapel, D. A., & Gordijn, E. H. (2010). Imitation of emotion: When meaning leads to aversion. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40, 536–542.Google Scholar
  56. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wexler, B. E., Levenson, L., Warrenburg, S., & Price, L. H. (1994). Decreased perceptual sensitivity to emotion-provoking stimuli in depression. Psychiatry Research, 51, 127–138.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Weyers, P., Likowski, K. U., Seibt, B., Wernecke, S., Pauli, P., Mühlberger, A., & Hess, U. (2010). Facial reactions to emotional facial expressions after subliminal priming for competition and cooperation. (submitted). Google Scholar
  59. Weyers, P., Mühlberger, A., Kund, A., Hess, U., & Pauli, P. (2009). Modulation of facial reactions to avatar emotional faces by nonconscious competition priming. Psychophysiology, 46, 328–335.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wood, J. V., Saltzberg, J. A., & Goldsamt, L. A. (1990). Does affect induce self-focused attention? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 899–908.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katja U. Likowski
    • 1
  • Peter Weyers
    • 1
  • Beate Seibt
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christiane Stöhr
    • 1
  • Paul Pauli
    • 1
  • Andreas Mühlberger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Biological Psychology, Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyJulius-Maximilians-University WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.The Centro de Investigação e Intervenção Social (CIS)ISCTELisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations