The Human Face pp 131-147 | Cite as

Context-Analysis of Facial-Affective Behavior in Clinical Populations

  • Jörg Merten


Several studies investigating the functions of facial-affective behavior in dyadic interactions demonstrate the importance of facial-affective behavior for the expression of emotional feelings and for relationship-regulation in social interactions (Krause, Steimer-Krause, Merten, & Ullrich, 1998). In the realm of mental disorders and psychotherapeutic processes attention to facial-affective behaviour is a good starting point for the understanding of psychopathological processes taking place in social interactions between patients and their interacting partners (Merten, Ullrich, Anstadt, Krause, & Buchheim, 1996). Most clinical disorders are based on maladaptive relationship-patterns (Krause & Merten, 1999). Many authors have investigated this perspective of mental disorder using different theoretical concepts. Luborsky (1977), for example, derives patients' core conflictual relationship themes from narrations about relationship-episodes. Structural Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB; Benjamin, 1974, 1993) is used to formulate cyclic maladaptive patterns (CMP, Johnson, Popp, Schacht, Mellon, & Strupp, 1989). Horowitz (1997) uses role-relationship-model-configurations to describe different forms of social behavior of patients. These authors use mostly narration about behavior and relationship-episodes to extract maladaptive relationship-patterns. Beside the narration of relationship-episodes the actualization and interactive implementation of relationship-patterns in social interactions is not yet well understood.


Emotional Experience Nonverbal Behavior Express Emotion Basic Emotion Dyadic Interaction 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörg Merten
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität des Saarlandes Im StadtwaldSaarbrückenGermany

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