Red color facilitates the detection of facial anger — But how much?

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Peromaa , T & Olkkonen , M 2019 , ' Red color facilitates the detection of facial anger — But how much? ' , PLoS One , vol. 14 , no. 4 , 0215610 .

Title: Red color facilitates the detection of facial anger — But how much?
Author: Peromaa, Tarja; Olkkonen, Maria
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Perception Action Cognition
University of Helsinki, Department of Psychology and Logopedics
Date: 2019-04-17
Language: eng
Number of pages: 13
Belongs to series: PLoS One
ISSN: 1932-6203
Abstract: The color red seems to be consistently associated with the concept of anger. Beyond semantic associations, it has been suggested that the color red enhances our ability to perceive anger in faces. However, previous studies often lack proper color control or the results are confounded by the presence of several emotions. Moreover, the magnitude of the (potential) effect of red has not been quantified. To address these caveats, we quantified the effect of facial color and background color on anger with psychometric functions measured with the method-of-constant-stimuli while facial hue or surround hue was varied in CIELAB color space. Stimulus sequences were generated by morphing between neutral and angry faces. For the facial color, the average chromaticity of the faces was shifted by Delta E 12/20 in red, yellow, green and blue directions. For the background color, the hue was either neutral or saturated red, green or blue. Both facial redness and surround redness enhanced perceived anger slightly, by 3-4 morph-%. Other colors did not affect perceived anger. As the magnitude of the enhancement is generally small and the effect is robust only in a small subset of the participants, we question the practical significance of red in anger recognition.
Subject: 515 Psychology

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