Current Research in Psychology

The Role of Perspective-Taking on Ability to Recognize Fear

Andrea Trubanova, Inyoung Kim, Marika C. Coffman, Martha Ann Bell, J. Anthony Richey, Stephen M. LaConte, Denis Gracanin and Susan W. White

DOI : 10.3844/crpsp.2015.22.30

Current Research in Psychology

Volume 6, Issue 2

Pages 22-30

Abstract

Impairment in the ability to detect certain emotions, such as fear, is linked to multiple disorders and follows a pattern of inter-individual variability and intra-individual stability over time. Deficits in fear recognition are often related to social and interpersonal difficulties but the mechanisms by which this processing deficit might occur are not well understood. One potential mechanism through which impaired fear detection may influence social competency is through diminished perspective-taking, the ability to perceive and consider the point of view of another individual. In the current study, we hypothesized that intra-individual variability in the accuracy of facial emotion recognition is linked to perspective-taking abilities in a well-characterized, non-clinical adult sample. Results indicated that the ability to accurately detect fear in the faces of others was positively correlated with perspective-taking, consistent with initial hypotheses. This relationship appeared to be unique to recognition of fear, as perspective-taking was not significantly associated with recognition of the other basic emotions. Results from this study represent an initial step towards establishing a potential mechanism between some processes of FER and perspective-taking difficulties. It is important to establish the relationship between these processes in a non-clinical adult sample so that we can consider the possibility of a developmental or pathological influence of impoverished perspective-taking on fear perception.

Copyright

© 2015 Andrea Trubanova, Inyoung Kim, Marika C. Coffman, Martha Ann Bell, J. Anthony Richey, Stephen M. LaConte, Denis Gracanin and Susan W. White. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.