Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 201–214 | Cite as

Facial expression in the presence of friends and strangers

  • H. L. Wagner
  • Jayne Smith


This study investigated the effect of the physical presence of a friend or of a stranger on facial expressiveness. Pairs of friends and pairs of strangers (all women) were unobtrusively videotaped while they viewed together a number of emotional stimulus slides, and rated their individual emotional responses to them. Judges subsequently attempted to identify from the videotapes the emotions reported by each sender subject. Generally, expressions were more readily identified for women videotaped with friends than for those recorded with strangers. These results support the suggestion that the degree to which emotions are expressed depends on the role of an accompanying person. Altemative interpretations of this view are discussed.


Social Psychology Facial Expression Emotional Response Emotional Stimulus Physical Presence 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. L. Wagner
    • 1
  • Jayne Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterEngland

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