Older adults' recognition of bodily and auditory expressions of emotion

Ted Ruffman, Susan Sullivan, Winand Dittrich
Psychology and Aging 2009, 24 (3): 614-22
This study compared young and older adults' ability to recognize bodily and auditory expressions of emotion and to match bodily and facial expressions to vocal expressions. Using emotion discrimination and matching techniques, participants assessed emotion in voices (Experiment 1), point-light displays (Experiment 2), and still photos of bodies with faces digitally erased (Experiment 3). Older adults' were worse at least some of the time in recognition of anger, sadness, fear, and happiness in bodily expressions and of anger in vocal expressions. Compared with young adults, older adults also found it more difficult to match auditory expressions to facial expressions (5 of 6 emotions) and bodily expressions (3 of 6 emotions).

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