Can You Detect Your Partner’s Feelings Without Seeing His Or Her Face?

The Huffington Post:

Younger adults are more adept at reading emotion in their partner’s face than older adults. But when the partner isn’t present, older and younger adults are equally able to detect their significant others’ moods.

Or so suggests a new study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany.

“When judging others’ emotions in real life, people do not exclusively rely on emotional expressions,” said lead researcher Antje Rauers in a press release. “Instead, they use additional information, such as accumulated knowledge about a given situation and a particular person.”

The findings, published in Psychological Science, indicate that older adults may evaluate their partners’ emotions with the help of their acquired knowledge — and not sensory cues.

To investigate how these processes vary with age, Rauers and colleagues Elisabeth Blanke and Michaela Riediger recruited 100 couples, some of whom were between the ages of 20 and 30 and some of whom were between the ages of 69 and 80. When they came to the lab, Rauer and colleagues first showed various faces to the participants, asking them to identify particular emotions.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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