ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2015, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (1): 50-65.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2015.00050

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The Impact of Pre-Service Teachers' Emotional Complexity on Facial Expression Processing: Evidences from Behavioral, ERP and Eye-Movement Study

WANG Haibin1,2; LU Jiamei1; YAO Benxian3; SANG Qingsong3; CHEN Ning4; TANG Xiaochen1   

  1. (1 College of Education, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200234, China) (2 School of Educational Science, Huangshan University, Huangshan 245041, China) (3 School of Educational Science, AnHui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, China) (4 College of Youth, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai 200083, China)
  • Received:2014-03-25 Published:2015-01-26 Online:2015-01-26
  • Contact: LU Jiamei, E-mail:


Propositional knowledge for emotional complexity is also called emotional awareness, which has been regarded as the most fundamental skill to emotional intelligence. It refers to the ability of recognizing and describing one’s own and others’ emotions. This kind of ability is important to the processing of individual mental health and interpersonal interaction. In the present study, the electrophysiological correlates and the eye movement of the facial expression processing among the pre-service teachers who have different emotional awareness were investigated. To screen participant of high or low emotional awareness, 800 Pre-Service Teachers were surveyed by the Chinese version of leaves of emotional awareness scale (LEAS). As paid volunteers, 40 pre-service teachers were recruited to take part in study1 and the other 60 pre-service teachers in study2. The participants in the experiment were all right-hand, had normal or corrected-to-normal vision and had no neurological or psychological disorders. This study was approved by the local ethics committee, and all participants signed an informed consent form prior to their inclusion in the experiment. The participants were instructed to judge the emotion of faces (happy, anger, fear and sadness) while recording EEG and eye movement. Behavioral results showed that the mean accuracy rate was higher for pre-service teachers who have high emotional awareness score group than that of the low score group, and the mean reaction time of the high score group was significantly shorter than that of the low score group. Relative to the case of the low score group, it was observed that the amplitudes of P100, N170 and LPP were higher while the amplitudes of VPP, P200 and N200 were lower in high score group. Eye movement results showed that the number of total eye fixation, monitoring frequency and the diameter of the pupil of high score group were higher than the low score group, while their saccadic time and saccade amplitude were lower. These results suggested that the emotional complexity has an influence on the processing of the emotional facial expressions. Pre-service teachers with higher emotional complexity were more sensitive to the categorization information of emotion, and probably adopt a more efficient and better pattern.

Key words: emotional complexity, emotional awareness, pre-service teachers, ERP, eye movement