A research group from Shizuoka University and Kio University investigated how well children aged 3 to 5 can read the emotions of people whose faces are partly hidden behind masks or sunglasses.As a result, when part of the face is hidden, it becomes more difficult to read the other person's emotions than when the whole face is visible. It was clarified that almost 80% of the correct answers were obtained when accompanied by the speech that was put in.

 Since the spread of the new coronavirus infection, the opportunities to wear masks in daily life have increased rapidly, but for children who are still developing the ability to recognize facial expressions, wearing masks that partially hide their faces It is feared that it may interfere with the reading of emotions.

 Therefore, the purpose of this study was to clarify the extent to which it becomes difficult for preschool children to read the emotions of people whose faces are partially hidden by masks or sunglasses.We also examined the effect of listening to emotional voices together as a device to promote reading of emotions.

 Twenty-seven children aged 3 to 5 who attend the kindergarten attached to the Faculty of Education, Shizuoka University were asked to participate in the survey, and while changing the type of facial image and the presence or absence of voice, they were assigned to four categories: joy, sadness, anger, and surprise. I asked them to choose a face image that expresses their emotions.

 As a result of the survey, the correct answer rate was almost 100% when the face was fully visible, but the correct answer rate decreased when the face was wearing a mask or sunglasses.However, about 90% of the responses were correct even when wearing a mask, and about 80% when wearing sunglasses.Furthermore, when listening to voices containing emotions, the correct answers were almost 100% even when part of the face was hidden.

 Through this research, we found that hiding part of the face does not have a significant impact on preschoolers' ability to read emotions, and that talking with emotions makes it easier for children to understand the other person's emotions. It was clarified thatIn the future, it is thought that the findings of this study can be used to make decisions about wearing masks in various situations.

Paper information:[Journal of Cognition and Development] Can Preschoolers Recognize the Facial Expressions of People Wearing Masks and Sunglasses? Effects of Adding Voice Information

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