NORMA eResearch @NCI Library

Do face masks impair facial emotional recognition?

Clarke, Luke (2021) Do face masks impair facial emotional recognition? Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

[thumbnail of Bachelor of Arts]
PDF (Bachelor of Arts)
Download (1MB) | Preview


Background: As the presence of facemasks has arisen during the time of Covid-19 (Scarpina, 2020) where little is known about the impact facemasks has on communication by reduced visual information presented through facial expressions. This current study tested differences between emotion recognition of faces which were masked and unmasked; differences between sex accuracy rates overall and if self-perceptions interacted with emotional accuracy scores of faces.

Methods: 165 Participants were recruited through convenience sampling (Facebook) whereby access to a google forms questionnaire, recorded participants responses. Measuring self-perceptions of facemasks and emotional recognition accuracy scores of faces taken from the MPI Faces dataset (Ebner, Riediger & Lindenberger, 2010) based on six emotions (happy, sad, fear, neutrality, anger, disgust).

Results: Indicated significant negative effects to masked faces accuracy; additionally, sex and self-perception where non-significant in differences affecting accuracy scores.

Limitations: The sample was distributed irregularly, and poor internal validity (Pallant, 2013) reduced findings significance.

Conclusions: Suggest masks inhibit recognition of emotions to a small effect on interpretations which may affect communication of emotion.

Implications: Further research should be directed to adaptive measures for individuals which rely on facial cues to guide emotional understanding and communication as facemask usage reduces clarity in communication.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology > Emotions
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 12:33
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 13:24

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item