Elena Tsankova and Arvid Kappas will present a poster titled “Emotional intelligence may be linked to the ability for trustworthiness encoding in face sketching” at the International Convention of Psychological Science 2017 in Vienna, Austria.
We’ll be happy to see you – stop by if you are around!
Here is the poster abstract:
Trustworthiness and emotion expression are linked on the perceptual level (Oosterhof & Todorov, 2009). Here we show that the two dimensions may be linked on a more abstract level, reflected in the positive correlation between the ability to interpret facial emotion and the quality of trustworthiness encoded in facial sketches.
And the poster summary:
The perception (decoding) of facial trustworthiness is closely linked to the perception emotion expressions (e.g., Oosterhof & Todorov, 2009). Here we explored the possibility that trustworthiness and emotion are also linked on the encoding level. More precisely, we tested whether emotional intelligence was associated with the capacity to encode trustworthiness in face sketches. Forty young adults (22 female) used an online version of Ultimate Flash Face, which resembled a police sketch type of software, to create a trustworthy female, trustworthy male, untrustworthy female, and untrustworthy male face. Each encoder also filled in the Toronto Empathy Questionnaire (TEQ; Spreng, McKinnon, Mar, & Levine, 2009) and completed the revised version of the “Reading the Mind in the Eyes” Test (Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Hill, Raste, & Plumb, 2001). The resulting 160 sketches were split in groups of 40 and each group was rated for trustworthiness, femininity-masculinity, attractiveness, and positivity-negativity of facial expression by an independent sample of 20 decoders (10 female) in an online survey. For each encoder we computed encoding quality as a difference score between the trustworthy and untrustworthy sketches using the average decoder rating for each perceptual dimension (trustworthiness, femininity-masculinity, attractiveness, and positivity-negativity of facial expression). This encoding quality score (EQS) provided an index of how successful the encoding was—the larger the perceptual difference, the more successful the encoding. We then correlated EQS for each perceptual dimension with the encoders’ TEQ and Eyes Test scores. A positive correlation would indicate a positive link between encoder emotional intelligence and the quality of the generated sketches. Encoders with higher emotional intelligence (higher TEQ and Eyes Test scores) were expected to have produced sketches that lied further apart on the perceptual dimensions, especially the trustworthiness dimensions. We found a positive correlation between encoders’ performance on the Eyes Test and EQS for femininity-masculinity and attractiveness (ps < .05), as well as a tendency for such correlation for trustworthiness (p <. 07). The encoders’ TEQ scores did not correlate with EQS on any perceptual dimension. Although further work in this line of research is necessary, the current data suggest that there may indeed be a link between emotional intelligence and trustworthiness also on the encoding level. Interestingly, not all aspects of emotional intelligence might be involved in the encoding of trustworthiness. In particular, empathy might not be crucial for the encoding of visual cues to trustworthiness whereas the ability to decode emotions appears to be. This work enhances our knowledge about the shared perceptual basis of trustworthiness and emotion expressions by extending the link between the trustworthiness and emotion expression dimension also to the encoding level.