Title

How mood and task complexity affect children’s recognition of others’ emotions

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2-2014

Publication Title

Social Development

Volume

23

Issue

1

First page number:

80

Last page number:

99

Abstract

Previous studies examined how mood affects children's accuracy in matching emotional expressions and labels (label-based tasks). This study was the first to assess how induced mood (positive, neutral, or negative) influenced five- to eight-year-olds' accuracy and reaction time using both context-based tasks, which required inferring a character's emotion from a vignette, and label-based tasks. Both tasks required choosing one of four facial expressions to respond. Children responded more accurately to label-based questions relative to context-based questions at the age of five to seven, but showed no differences at the age of eight, and when the emotional expression being identified was happiness, sadness, or surprise, but not disgust. For the context-based questions, children were more accurate at inferring sad and disgusted emotions compared with happy and surprised emotions. Induced positive mood facilitated five-year-olds' processing (decreased reaction time) in both tasks compared with induced negative and neutral moods. Results demonstrate how task type and children's mood influence children's emotion processing at different ages.

Keywords

Children; Emotion processing; Emotion recognition; Mood

Disciplines

Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Cognitive Behavioral Therapy | Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy

Language

English

Permissions

Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or use interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the article. Publisher copyright policy allows author to archive post-print (author’s final manuscript). When post-print is available or publisher policy changes, the article will be deposited

Identifier

DOI: 10.1111/sode.12038

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