Children’s Portrayal of False Emotions and Mimicry



Chulla, Kaylee

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Children must learn how and when to portray emotions for social communication and appropriate emotional responses to various social situations. The purpose of this study was to investigate under what conditions children can create forced emotions that are easily read by coders. The study investigates whether there are differences in children’s false emotion portrayals when emotions are mimicked from a model or not mimicked, and whether there are differences if they have been modeled in a realistic manner or an exaggerated manner. This study is a secondary data analysis from a dataset that includes coder-scored data on the technical, emotional, and physical aspects of children’s emotional portrayals. Participants were asked to create emotion portrayals for target emotions of hurt, sad, scared, and tired. The participants were given video models of three out of the four emotions and were asked to mimic as closely as possible, and then were asked to create their own portrayal for the fourth emotion. Data in the current study focused on physical differences (e.g. hand gestures, Laban Effort analysis, overall physical engagement) and level of coded accuracy for each emotion portrayal. Results show that there are differences in physical engagement and hand gesture use based on whether the mimicked model was a realistic or exaggerated portrayal of the emotion.



False emotions, Children's emotion portrayal, Mimicked emotions, Body movement