Is Perceived Expressivity of Game Players a Cue to Game Outcome Prediction Accuracy?

Phoebe MuiTilburg University
Martijn GoudbeekTilburg University
Marc SwertsTilburg University

Abstract

Games can be won or lost, and the outcome of the game often determines our facial expression. Thus, game players’ facial expression possibly provides information about the game outcome. The connection between such nonverbal cues and accuracy at which game outcome could be deduced is investigated in a perception experiment. Facial expressions of Chinese and Dutch children playing a game, either alone or in pairs, were shown to Chinese and Dutch judges who had to evaluate their expressivity and game outcome. No one-to-one mapping between perceived expressivity and guessing accuracy across conditions was revealed. A positive correlation was observed between expressivity and accuracy for both Chinese and Dutch children playing in pairs as well as alone, but only when they were winning. In fact, nonexpressivity was consistently interpreted by judges as a signal for losing. Our findings contribute to the identification of conditions in which expressivity can reliably aid perception.

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