DOI: 10.1177/17470218231195325 ISSN:

An another perspective of face masks in emotion recognition: Comment on Shepherd and Rippon (2022)

Elias Rodrigues de Almeida-Junior, Joaquim Pedro Brito-de-Sousa, Elenice Francisco da Silva, Rosineide Marques Ribas
  • Physiology (medical)
  • General Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • General Medicine
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Physiology

In a recent article, Shepherd and Rippon (2022) investigated the impact of widespread face mask use on emotion recognition. They found that mask-wearing led to reduced accuracy in identifying emotions such as fear, sadness, and disgust when participants were exposed to brief facial stimuli. Their study highlights the significance of masks in concealing facial areas crucial for non-verbal communication, potentially affecting emotional well-being. Here in this comment, we have argued that despite concerns about impaired emotional recognition and social interactions, balancing COVID-19 protection and effective communication is essential. We stress the importance of adhering to mask guidelines while enhancing alternative cues and communication strategies. In public health emergencies like COVID-19, such research should acknowledge the whole complexity and prioritize safety aspects in a manner that prevents controversial issues.

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