Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Emotional expression modulates perceived gaze direction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle



Janek S. Lobmaier, Bernard P. Tiddeman, David I. Perrett

School/Research organisations


Gaze perception is an important social skill, as it portrays information about what another person is attending to. Gaze direction has been shown to affect interpretation of emotional expression. Here the authors investigate whether the emotional facial expression has a reciprocal influence on interpretation of gaze direction. In a forced-choice yes-no task, participants were asked to judge whether three faces expressing different emotions (anger, fear, happiness, and neutral) in different viewing angles were looking at them or not. Happy faces were more likely to be judged as looking at the observer than were angry, fearful, or neutral faces. Angry faces were more often judged as looking at the observer than were fearful and neutral expressions. These findings are discussed on the background of approach and avoidance orientation of emotions and of the self-referential positivity bias.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
StatePublished - Aug 2008
Scopus citations52

    Research areas

  • face perception, emotional expression, eye gaze, social cognition, self-esteem, EYE-GAZE, FACIAL EXPRESSION, SOCIAL ATTENTION, PERCEPTION, SENSITIVITY, FACES, AMYGDALA, ANXIETY, LOOKING, OBJECTS

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Own attractiveness and perceived relationship quality shape sensitivity in women’s memory for other men on the attractiveness dimension

    Watkins, C. D., Nicholls, M. J., Batres, C., Xiao, D., Talamas, S. & Perrett, D. I. Jun 2017 In : Cognition. 163, p. 146-154 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Aggressor or protector? Experiences and perceptions of violence predict preferences for masculinity

    Borras Guevara, M. L., Batres, C. & Perrett, D. I. 23 Mar 2017 In : Evolution and Human Behavior. In press

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Do masculine men smell better? An association between skin color masculinity and female preferences for body odor

    Carrito, M. L., Santos, I. M., Alho, L., Ferreira, J., Soares, S. C., Bem-Haja, P., Silva, C. F. & Perrett, D. I. 1 Mar 2017 In : Chemical Senses. 42, 3, p. 269-275 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Skin colour changes during experimentally-induced sickness

    Henderson, A. J., Lasselin, J., Lekander, M., Olsson, M. J., Powis, S. J., Axelsson, J. & Perrett, D. I. Feb 2017 In : Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. 60

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 607001