Differential Reliance on the Duchenne Marker During Smile Evaluations and Person Judgments
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When evaluating the smiles of other people (regarding amusement, authenticity, spontaneity, or intensity), perceivers typically rely on Orbicularis oculi activity that causes wrinkles around a target’s eyes. But does this so-called Duchenne marker also impact more generalized judgments of person characteristics (e.g., regarding a target’s attractiveness, intelligence, dominance, and trustworthiness)? To address this issue, the current study asked participants to provide the above smile evaluations and person judgments for a series of Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles. The results showed that smile evaluations uniformly increased during Duchenne marker presence. The marker’s effect on person judgments, in contrast, was judgment dependent. While attractiveness, dominance and intelligence ratings showed the expected enhancement, trustworthiness ratings remained unaffected by the facial cue of interest. The findings suggest that the Duchenne marker’s role as a cue of social relevance during target perception depends on the type of person inference under consideration.
KeywordsPerson perception Person construal Social judgement Trait judgment
This research was supported by a postdoctoral grant from the University of Louvain and the Belgian Fund for Scientific Research. We thank Lynden Miles and Nim Tottenham for the permission to display the faces in Figure 1.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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