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Independent Variables

D’Argembeau, A. , Van der Linden, M. , Comblain, C. & Etienne, A. (2003). The effects of happy and angry expressions on identity and expression memory for unfamiliar faces. Cognition and Emotion, 17(4), 609-622. 2. List and Describe the Research Study: A. Independent Variables: The independent variables in the study are the following: learning condition (intentional and incidental) and expression type (happy and angry). For the intentional learning condition, the participants were asked to “look carefully at the faces in order to be able to recognise them later.

” For the incidental learning condition, the participants were asked to “give orally an estimation of the age of each individual depicted on the photos,” and they were “not informed that a memory test would follow. ” The expression type was managed through a pool of black-and-white photos of 43 individuals displaying three different expressions (happy, angry and neutral). The neutral expression was used for the participants to match to the other expressions, so it is not considered an independent variable.

The photos were standardized in terms of frame, size, background color, luminosity and contrast with Adobe Photoshop. They were narrowed into expressions of 24 individuals (12 male, 12 female) through a pilot study, establishing significant perceptual differences among the expression types (i. e. , at least 75% of the participants in the pilot study perceived the final selection as angry, happy and neutral). The final selection of photos was further divided into two sets (A and B) for the learning conditions.

The sets were matched in physical similarity and origin (database from which the photos were taken). For each learning condition, half of the photos shown were happy, the other half angry, and all are equally divided by gender (3 happy males, 3 angry males, 3 happy females, 3 angry females). In addition, the photos were shown in a pseudorandom order where no more than two same expressions occurred in succession. Counterbalancing was employed for order effects so that the photos were arranged in one order for half of the participants and the reverse for the other half.

B. Dependent Variables: The dependent variables in the study are the following: identity memory, expression memory, and state of awareness (whether the participants remember, know or guess their answers). Although state of awareness can be considered a dependent variable, it was analyzed and used in the study more as a categorical one than a measured one, so it behaved during the analysis more like an independent variable in which identity and expression memories are based.

This is because the nature of the variable is nominal rather than interval. Identity memory is measured according to correct responses in the recognition test, whereas expression memory is measured as the proportion of correct and incorrect responses against identity memory scores for each type of expression. C. Subjects/Participants used in study: Sixty-four (64) undergraduate students (22 male, 42 female) from the University of Liege, ages 18-27 years old, volunteered to participate in the actual study.

The pool was randomly divided for the two learning conditions. For the pilot study, 20 other participants volunteered. D. Research Method: Using experimental design, the study aims to investigate the influence of emotional expressions and learning condition on both identity and expression memory, and to examine the qualitative aspects of these memories through the state of awareness for the recognition. The research method was designed to address the methodological problems of previous related/similar studies.

Individual testing was employed. Participants were given a 5-minute retention interval, afterwhich, they were given instructions for the recognition test. The photos used for the test are faces with neutral expressions, and the time interval for the recognition test was unlimited. To measure identity memory, the participants will decide whether they have seen the photos before or not, then they will have to classify whether the recognition was remembered (R), known (K), or guessed (G).

To measure expression memory, the participants were asked to remember the initial emotional expression of the neutral photos, then they will classify the memory according to the R-K-G paradigm. Instructions for the state of awareness was adapted from a study by Gardiner, Ramponi & Richardson-Klavehn (1998), that is, an R response meant the participant has a conscious experience of the memory, that a K response meant familiar feeling without recollection of details, and that a G response meant lack of surety. To ensure that

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