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PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Adaptive and Maladaptive biases in Social Perception of Faces Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:00
Date:
2 May 2013
Venue:
Building 44 (Shackleton) Room 3095 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Allyson Marchi on 02380 599645 or email A.Marchi@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

The perception of attractiveness, personality, behavioural intentions and emotion provides crucial social information that guides social interactions between individuals.

The perception of attractiveness, personality, behavioural intentions and emotion provides crucial social information that guides social interactions between individuals. I will review some of the growing body of evidence that the perception of many social traits shows considerable variation between different individuals and within individuals across different social circumstances.

These variations in perception may reflect facultative information processing strategies that lead to fitness gains. There is also evidence, however, that while many biases in social perception appear adaptive (e.g. acute sensitivity to threat in certain environments), others are likely to be maladaptive (e.g. chronic over-perception of threat in all environments) and may form an important causal component of several psychopathologies. I will present new work demonstrating that biases in emotional perception can be modified experimentally, and that such modification can have therapeutic benefit.

Speaker information

Professor Ian Penton-Voak, University of Bristol. Professor Penton-Voak studies human behaviour in the context of our evolutionary history. His work has concentrated on perception of social properties of faces, particularly attractiveness. A lot of this work is strongly influenced by theories of sexual selection proposed by evolutionary biologists. He also has strong interests in the perception of emotion and the social perception of personality.

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