- A positive relation was found for the recognition of posed, enacted and spontaneous expressions.
- Individual differences were consistent across the three emotion recognition tests.
- Participants most enjoyed the test with real emotional stories (EAT).
1.1. Assessing Individual Differences in Emotion Recognition
1.2. The Current Research
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
Noteworthy is the classical, dyadic version of the empathic accuracy paradigm (e.g., Ickes et al. 1990; Stinson and Ickes 1992). One limitation of this original version of the paradigm is that the paradigm was used each time with new target individuals. There was thus no standard test to utilize across studies. Here, we focus our discussion on a more recent version of the empathic accuracy paradigm, which involves a standard set of target individuals to be utilized across different studies, making each finding directly comparable to previous findings using the same stimulus set.
Readers should note that some emotion categories in these tasks (GERT, RMET) do not have a prototypical expression (e.g., playful). Nonetheless, we refer to them as prototypical since we presume that resemblance with prototypical (rather than idiosyncratic) representations of emotional expressions guided the production (GERT) and the selection (RMET) of all emotional stimuli included in these tests.
This inclusion criterion was not preregistered for Study 1. Our decision to nevertheless apply it was primarily informed by reviewers’ comments about the need to report only reliable data. Importantly, all patterns of findings reported in this manuscript remain the same (or stronger) when the excluded participants are included in the analyses.
Participants also completed the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI; Davis 1983) and the Ten Items Personality Inventory. We also asked whether participants had had similar life experiences to those described in the videos and assessed their empathic responses toward the person in the video by eliciting written support messages. These measures were collected for research questions not addressed in the present manuscript. Here, we focus on measures and analyses directly relevant for testing our hypotheses, as specified in the preregistration of the current study.
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|Task||Stimuli||Emotional Cues||Emotional Expression||Basis of Accuracy3||Choice Options|
|RMET||Static pictures||Eyes (nonverbal)||Posed||Prototypical expression||Four (select one)|
|GERT||Dynamic videos||Voice, body and face (nonverbal)||Reenacted||Prototypical expression||Fourteen (select one)|
|EAT||Dynamic videos||Words, voice, facial and body movements (verbal and nonverbal)||Spontaneous||Targets’ emotions||Ten (select all applicable, rate each using 0–6 scale)|
|Study 1 (N = 74; USA, MTurk)|
|Pearson’s r||EAT||GERT||RMET||Spearman’s rho||EAT||GERT||RMET|
|Verbal IQ||0.31 ***|
|Verbal IQ||0.39 ***|
|Study 2 (N = 157; UK; Prolific)|
|Pearson’s r||EAT||GERT||RMET||Spearman’s rho||EAT||GERT||RMET|
|Study 1||4.77 a (1.21)||3.85 b (1.85)||4.16 b (1.59)|
|Study 2||4.09 a (1.41)||4.07 a (1.53)||3.78 b (1.56)|
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