The influence of non-clinical eating-related psychopathology on the recognition of emotion from static faces and realistic social interactions

Wallis, Deborah J. and Ridout, Nathan and Sharpe, Emma (2018) The influence of non-clinical eating-related psychopathology on the recognition of emotion from static faces and realistic social interactions. Eating Behaviors, 29. pp. 19-24. ISSN 14710153

Wallis, Ridout & Sharpe (2018) EB & ER from faces & videos (archiving).pdf - Accepted Version

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Emotion recognition deficits have consistently been reported in clinical and sub-clinical disordered eating. However, most studies have used static faces, despite the dynamic nature of everyday social interactions. The current aims were to confirm previous findings of emotion recognition deficits in non-clinical disordered eating and to determine if these deficits would be more evident in response to static as compared to dynamic emotional stimuli. We also aimed to establish if these emotion recognition deficits could be explained by comorbid psychopathology (depression, anxiety or alexithymia). Eighty-nine females were assigned to groups based on scores on the Eating Disorders Inventory (EDI); high (n=45) and low (n=44). Participants were presented with emotional faces and video clips portraying fear, anger, disgust, sadness, happiness, surprise and neutral affect. As predicted, the high EDI group correctly recognised fewer emotional displays than did the low EDI group. However, this deficit was not more evident for negative as opposed to positive emotions. Furthermore, the deficit was not larger for static stimuli in comparison to dynamic. Overall emotion recognition accuracy was negatively associated with Drive for Thinness, but not Bulimia or Body Dissatisfaction. Importantly, the emotion recognition deficits observed in the high EDI group and that were associated with eating disorder symptoms were independent of depression, anxiety and alexithymia. Findings confirm that even minor elevations in disordered eating are associated with poorer emotion recognition. This is important, as problems in recognition of the emotional displays of others are thought to be a risk factor for clinical eating disorders.

Keywords: facial emotion recognition; eating psychopathology; disordered eating; drive for thinness; anger

Item Type: Article
Identification Number:
26 January 2018Accepted
31 January 2018Published Online
Subjects: CAH04 - psychology > CAH04-01 - psychology > CAH04-01-01 - psychology (non-specific)
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Psychology
Depositing User: Deborah Wallis
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2018 11:20
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:42

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