Attributing emotion to static body postures: Recognition accuracy, confusions, and viewpoint dependence

M Coulson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

417 Citations (Scopus)


A total of 176 computer-generated mannequin figures were produced from descriptions of postural expressions of emotion in order to investigate the attribution of emotion to static body postures. Each posture was rendered from 3 viewing angles and presented to participants in a forced-decision task. Concordance rates for attributions of 6 emotions (anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise) ranged from zero for many disgust postures to over 90 percent for some anger and sadness postures. Anatomical variables and viewing angle were shown to predict participants' responses. Analysis of the confusion matrix suggested a circumplex solution with happiness and surprise sharing a similar position, and few confusions between the other four emotions. The means by which emotions may be attributed to static body postures are discussed, as are avenues for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117–139
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2004

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