The communicative function of facial expressions
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What is the effect of a cooperative or competitive mindset on the facial displays of amusement and sadness when amusement and sadness were induced? Three studies were conducted to answer this question. Study 1 tested a newly developed method, based on a button press effort task, for inducing a cooperative or competitive mindset in participants. It was found that for the used population this manipulation was effective. Study 2 aimed to validate and update a method of emotion elicitation using videos, based on previous research by Gross and Levenson (1995). Results indicated that the recommended videos by Gross and Levenson for inducing amusement or sadness were still valid in the current population. Study 3 used the manipulations validated in Study 1 and 2 to test whether there is an effect of a cooperative or competitive mindset on the displays of amusement and sadness, and visibility of the face, when amusement and sadness were induced. No effect was found of mindset on sadness and amusement displays. However, there was an unpredicted interaction effect between mindset and induced emotion on visibility of the face, with visibility of the face being less when sadness was induced, but only in the competitive condition. For all three studies limitations and implications of the results are discussed. Recommendations for future research are made.