Term of Award

Summer 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (Psy.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Amy Hackney

Committee Member 1

Michael Nielsen

Committee Member 2

James Pugh

Abstract

Author's abstract: Some researchers assert that cultural display rules may explain differences in perceiving emotions (Matsumoto, Yoo, & Chung, 2010). The current study examined the display rule of masking within the Southern culture of honor. It was hypothesized that masking within the culture of honor negatively affects emotion perception sensitivity, particularly in the speed and accuracy of recognizing anger. Southern undergraduate students were primed with the culture of honor and then presented with the Emotional Expression Multimorph Task. Participants chose one of the six emotions (i.e., sad, happy, surprise, fear, disgust, or anger). It was hypothesized participants in the masking and masking/culture of honor prime groups would take significantly longer recognizing emotions than the mimicking/culture of honor prime and mimicking (control) groups. Results indicated an effect of masking on emotion perception, F(1, 77) = 4.16, p = .04, partial η2 = .05, supporting the hypothesis that participants who mask would take significantly longer than the participants who do not mask to correctly identify emotions. The main effect of the culture of honor prime was not significant. Participants were significantly slower at perceiving anger when compared to happiness and surprise. This study further substantiates masking as a display rule and its effects on facial feedback. It was not determined that the culture of honor affects emotion recognition through the mechanism of masking. Future research studies could use more ecologically generalizable variables to determine if masking occurs within the culture of honor.

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