Children's Perception of Magnitudes of Emotional Expression in Comparison to Number Open Access

Denio, Erin Brett (2011)

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Children's Perception of Magnitudes of Emotional Expression in Comparison to Number
By Erin B. Denio
Numeric magnitudes often bias how adults and children organize information spatially.
Specifically, studies have found consistent results that numerical information is mentally
organized in left-to-right orientation like a "number line" and this orientation is applied to
magnitudes of various types of stimuli: Arabic numbers, physical size, and duration of time.
Most recently, studies have found that magnitudes of emotion in facial expressions are also
organized in this left-to-right orientation in adults. In the current study, we investigated the
existence of this left-to-right organization of degrees of emotional expression in children ages 3.5
- 6.5 years. Results suggest that children across this age range organize numerical magnitude
from left-to-right, but only girls appeared to have marginal left-to-right organization of
emotional expression. These findings suggest that spatial organization of numerical magnitude
emerges early in development, but that there may be variation with respect to organization of
emotional magnitude. The current study points to a possible gender difference concerning the
mental representation of emotion that deserves further investigation.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
3 Introduction
10 Method
13 Results
19 Discussion
27 Acknowledgements
28 References
31 Table 1: Areas (cm2) and Perimeters (cm) of Number Stimuli
32 Table 2: Paired Sample T Tests Between Face Pairings' Accuracy
33 Figure 1: Number Stimuli Array Example
34 Figure 2: NimStim Face Set Example
35 Figure 3: Procedure Setup
36 Figure 4: Children have Left-to-Right Organization of Number
37 Figure 5: Girls Display Some Left-to-Right Organization of Emotion
38 Figure 6: Discrimination Task Results
39 Figure 7: Pairings in Happiness Discrimination Task

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