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Emotion. 2010 Aug;10(4):455-66. doi: 10.1037/a0019151.

The "disgust face" conveys anger to children.

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Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA.


What does the "facial expression of disgust" communicate to children? When asked to label the emotion conveyed by different facial expressions widely used in research, children (N = 84, 4 to 9 years) were much more likely to label the "disgust face" as anger than as disgust, indeed just as likely as they were to label the "angry face" as anger. Shown someone with a disgust face and asked to generate a possible cause and consequence of that emotion, children provided answers indistinguishable from what they provided for an angry face--even for the minority who had labeled the disgust face as disgust. A majority of adults (N = 22) labeled the same disgust faces shown to the children as disgust and generated causes and consequences that implied disgust.

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