ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2024, Vol. 56 ›› Issue (1): 29-43.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2024.00029

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The representational momentum effect and the reference dependence effect on the evaluation of dynamic happy expressions

TIAN Yangyang, LI Dong, YAN Xiangbo, LI Zhao, CUI Qian(), JIANG Zhongqing   

  1. College of Psychology, Liaoning Normal University, Dalian 116029, China
  • Received:2023-05-07 Published:2024-01-25 Online:2023-11-23
  • Contact: CUI Qian


Most of the existing studies on facial expressions have used static facial picture materials, and dynamic expressions have been relatively understudied. However, people's expressions are often dynamic in life. In order to investigate the emotional processing characteristics of dynamic expressions, the present study examined the effects of the direction of change and the average summary representation on the three-dimensional evaluation of emotion in three experiments that included both dynamic and static happy expression picture materials. It was found that the arousal ratings were higher for the dynamic happy expression with a higher average summary representation. Faces that went from strong to weak had lower valence scores and higher dominance scores than static faces with the same intensity of expression in the previous frame. Indicative of the the representational momentum effect, faces that went from weak to strong had higher valence scores. Furthermore, the dynamic happy expressions that moved from strong to weak had a larger impact on perceived representational momentum than the dynamic happy expressions that moved from weak to strong. In addition, when assessing a facial expression, the perceiver will make a relative assessment based on the internal reference standard: a lower standard is associated with a higher score, and vice versa. This finding is consistent with the reference dependence effect on expression perception. These processing characteristics are used as a reminder to academics to consider the difference between dynamic and static expressions and to think about the impact of various materials when using facial expression data in the future.

Key words: dynamic expression, emotion three-dimensional, representational momentum, reference dependence effect