There has been much debate about how we perceive other people’s minds. Some theories, such as Theory of Mind, are based on the presumption that the minds of others are closed and inaccessible, requiring some form of inferential processing and mentalizing to understand. On the other hand, Direct Social Perception says that information about the mental states of others is readily available to perceive and requires no internal processing to understand. Taking either theory into account, it remains an open question if expertise plays a role in social perception. This study aimed to identify if experience in portraying emotions through dance would affect recognition of emotional body movement. A group of 21 dancers and 23 non-dancers viewed 40 point-light displays of movement showing anger, fear, happiness, and sadness. Their accuracy and reaction time were recorded. It was hypothesized that dancers would have increased accuracy, as well as faster reaction times across emotions. A 4 × 2 ANOVA was used to analyze the results. Results rejected the hypothesis that dancers would have increased accuracy and reaction time, indicating no significant differences between the two groups. A significant main effect was found on the accuracy data for emotion type. Fear and happiness were the most accurately recognized emotions across groups
McConnell, Daniel S.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Krause, Kendahl E., "The Role of Expertise in Perceiving Emotions Through Kinematics" (2020). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 728.