Can you trust your gut on a crowd’s mood?

Original content comes to us from Neuroscience News — ScienceDaily

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There is good news for frequent public speakers. New research shows that individuals have the ability to quickly and accurately identify a crowd’s general emotion as focused or distracted, suggesting that we can trust our first impression of a crowd’s mood. The paper, “Mixed emotions: Sensitivity to facial variance in a crowd of faces,” was recently published in the Journal of Vision.

“When we look at a crowd of faces, what we see is not a bunch of individual faces, but rather an average of the entire crowd,” said author Jason Haberman, PhD, of Rhodes College, Department of Psychology, who led the study. “However, how do we know whether this average is reliable? If half the faces are happy and the other faces are angry, it would not be advantageous to see the ‘neutral’ average.”

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