3 years ago

The expectancy bias: Expectancy-violating faces evoke earlier pupillary dilation than neutral or negative faces

Humans maintain a negativity bias, whereby they perceive threatening stimuli to be more salient than rewarding or neutral stimuli. Across 6 within-subject experimental comparisons, we tested the hypothesis that humans maintain an even stronger expectancy bias, preferentially processing stimuli that violate mental representations of expected associations. To assess this bias, we measured variations in pupillary dilation as a means of determining attentional arousal in response to neutral, negative and expectancy-violating versions of the same social stimuli: human faces. We conducted three baseline manipulation checks that directly compared neutral faces with threatening (angry) and expectancy-violating (upside-down and Thatcherized) faces, and three bias comparisons that directly compared threatening and expectancy-violating faces with one another. Across these experiments, we found evidence for a dominant expectancy bias in pupillary arousal for social stimuli, whereby expectancy-violating faces produced pupillary dilation earlier than neutral and threatening faces, with Thatcherized faces producing the greatest magnitude of dilation.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0022103116305583

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.