Doctoral thesis

Expression and perception of emotion from body movement : categorical and dynamic correlates of emotion

ContributorsDael, Nele
Defense date2011-05-03

For this thesis research we investigate the role of body movement in emotion communication. The Brunswikian Lens Model serves as a framework to distinguish both processes of emotion expression and emotion perception. The studies of this thesis are organized along tree main research lines. First, we develop descriptive tools for accurate measurement of body movement. In one study we describe the development and validation of a multilevel coding system for the categorical description of body posture and action with respect to the anatomical articulation, the movement form, and the movement function. Two other studies take a dynamic approach to measure spatiotemporal movement quality based on spatial annotation or semi-automatic movement tracking. Second, we use these tools to establish a representative inventory of the behavioral repertoire that can be employed when expressing emotions. In a first study, we investigate the possibility to differentiate emotions based on predictions of three major emotion theories (basic emotion theory, bi-dimensional theory, and componential appraisal theory). In a second study, we test the effect of expressed emotion on differences in gesture dynamics, related to the emotion dimensions of arousal, potency, and valence. Third, we test how systematic changes in expression associated to emotion drive the perception process. In two judgment studies we examine the impact of expressed emotion on the subjective representation of gesture dynamics, and on the attribution of emotion. In conclusion, this thesis identifies several categorical and dynamic correlates of emotion in body movement, and shows the utility of adopting a componential approach to the study of bodily emotion expression and perception.

  • Emotion
  • Expression
  • Perception
  • Appraisal
  • Body movement
  • Nonverbal
  • Posture
  • Action
  • Gesture
  • Coding
  • Dynamics
Research group
Citation (ISO format)
DAEL, Nele. Expression and perception of emotion from body movement : categorical and dynamic correlates of emotion. 2011. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:16521
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Technical informations

Creation06/23/2011 7:05:00 PM
First validation06/23/2011 7:05:00 PM
Update time03/30/2023 10:09:07 AM
Status update03/30/2023 10:09:06 AM
Last indexation01/29/2024 7:12:16 PM
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