ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (2): 259-268.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00259

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Emotional and Perceptual Explanations for Search Asymmetries of Emotional Faces

XU Zhan;LI Canju   

  1. Faculty of Psychology, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:2013-06-08 Online:2014-02-15 Published:2014-02-15
  • Contact: XU Zhan


Search asymmetry of emotional faces is defined as the condition in which it is faster to detect a negative emotional target face among positive emotional distractor faces than a positive target face among negative distractor faces. There is a lot of controversy regarding how this effect can be explained. Based on the latest behavioral and neurocognitive research, search asymmetries could possibly be explained by the emotional factors of threat capture and disengagement from emotion hypothesis, and the perceptual factors of closure, perceptual grouping and other facial features. Through the comparison of the two perspectives and corresponding experimental evidence, further research can integrate emotional and perceptual factors to explain the search asymmetry effect.

Key words: search asymmetry of emotional faces, facial expressions, schematic faces, emotional factors, perceptual factors