, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 3-21

Matsumoto and Ekman's Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expressions of Emotion (JACFEE): Reliability Data and Cross-National Differences

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Substantial research has documented the universality of several emotional expressions. However, recent findings have demonstrated cultural differences in level of recognition and ratings of intensity. When testing cultural differences, stimulus sets must meet certain requirements. Matsumoto and Ekman's Japanese and Caucasian Facial Expressions of Emotion (JACFEE) is the only set that meets these requirements. The purpose of this study was to obtain judgment reliability data on the JACFEE, and to test for possible cross-national differences in judgments as well. Subjects from Hungary, Japan, Poland, Sumatra, United States, and Vietnam viewed the complete JACFEE photo set and judged which emotions were portrayed in the photos and rated the intensity of those expressions. Results revealed high agreement across countries in identifying the emotions portrayed in the photos, demonstrating the reliability of the JACFEE. Despite high agreement, cross-national differences were found in the exact level of agreement for photos of anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise. Cross-national differences were also found in the level of intensity attributed to the photos. No systematic variation due to either preceding emotion or presentation order of the JACFEE was found. Also, we found that grouping the countries into a Western/Non-Western dichotomy was not justified according to the data. Instead, the cross-national differences are discussed in terms of possible sociopsychological variables that influence emotion judgments.