Previous research has found that individuals vary greatly in emotion differentiation, that is, the extent to which they distinguish between different emotions when reporting on their own feelings. Building on previous work that has shown that emotion differentiation is associated with individual differences in intrapersonal functions, the current study asks whether emotion differentiation is also related to interpersonal skills. Specifically, we examined whether individuals who are high in emotion differentiation would be more accurate in recognising others’ emotional expressions. We report two studies in which we used an established paradigm tapping negative emotion differentiation and several emotion recognition tasks. In Study 1 (N = 363), we found that individuals high in emotion differentiation were more accurate in recognising others’ emotional facial expressions. Study 2 (N = 217), replicated this finding using emotion recognition tasks with varying amounts of emotional information. These findings suggest that the knowledge we use to understand our own emotional experience also helps us understand the emotions of others.
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© 2019, © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
- Emotion recognition
- emotion differentiation
- facial expressions