The impact of binge drinking on emotional face recognition in males and females

Hunt, Frances, Townshend, Julia, Milani, Raffaella Margherita ORCID: and Griffin, Alison (2013) The impact of binge drinking on emotional face recognition in males and females. In: BPS Developmental and Cognitive Sections Joint Conference 2013, 04-06 Sept 2013, Reading, UK.

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Previous research has reported that an alcohol dependant population showed impairment in recognition of certain facial expressions, particularly fear (Townshend & Duka, 2003). The aim of the current study was to investigate whether binge drinkers also show impairment in the recognition of previously seen faces with different facial expression. N = 95 (50 female) social drinkers took part in a 2x2x4 mixed design quasi-experiment. The between-subject factors were Binge Group (binge vs. non-binge), Sex (male vs. female) and the within-subject factor was Facial-Expression (Happy, Sad, Fearful, Neutral) recognition. Participants were shown sets of facial images which they were subsequently asked to indicate if they recognised from a larger set that included never-before-seen faces. Initial correlational analysis revealed significant effects, but only for female participants. A negative correlation was found between binge-score and happy faces correctly recognised. Fearful faces only approached significance, but interestingly the direction was also negative. That is, the higher the binge-score the fewer faces recognised. Furthermore, a negative correlation between binge-score and proportion of correctly recognised faces was found. Again this suggests that the higher the binge-score the fewer faces recalled. Most worrying was the finding that the higher the binge-scores the higher the number of false positive responses. A 2x2x4 mixed ANOVA revealed a main effect for Facial-Expression; sad faces were least well recognised while fearful faces were best recognised although this pattern was clearer in non-binge drinkers there were no other significant effects. A 2x2 between-subject ANOVA revealed a significant main effect for Sex, with females making more False Positive errors than males. This clearly warrants further investigation particularly the False Positives that correlated with high levels of binge drinking in females as this has potential implications for areas such as face recognition in eyewitness testimony.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Psychology
Depositing User: Frances Hunt
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2016 09:11
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 07:06

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