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Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 253–266 | Cite as

Japanese Children’s Knowledge of the Facial Components of Basic Emotions

  • Megumi Masuda
  • Pierre Gosselin
  • Michio Nomura
Original Paper

Abstract

While numerous studies have investigated children’s recognition of facial emotional expressions, little evidence has been gathered concerning their explicit knowledge of the components included in such expressions. Thus, we investigated children’s knowledge of the facial components involved in the expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, and surprise. Four- and 5-year-old Japanese children were presented with the blank face of a young character, and asked to select facial components in order to depict the emotions he felt. Children’s overall performance in the task increased as a function of age, and was above chance level for each emotion in both age groups. Children were likely to select the Cheek raiser and Lip corner puller to depict happiness, the Inner brow raiser, Brow lowerer, and Lid droop to depict sadness, the Brow lowerer and Upper lid raiser to depict anger, and the Upper lid raiser and Jaw drop to depict surprise. Furthermore, older children demonstrated a better knowledge of the involvement of the Upper lid raiser in surprise expressions.

Keywords

Emotion Facial expressions Explicit knowledge Japanese children 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellows Grant Number 16J03042, and the Leading Graduates Schools Program, “Collaborative Graduate Program in Design” by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, allocated to Megumi Masuda.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megumi Masuda
    • 1
    • 3
  • Pierre Gosselin
    • 2
  • Michio Nomura
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Japan Society for the Promotion of ScienceTokyoJapan

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