The Impact of Face Masks on the Emotional Reading Abilities of Children : A Lesson From a Joint School-University Project

Faculty/Professorship: General Psychology and Methodology  
Author(s): Carbon, Claus-Christian  ; Serrano, Martin
Title of the Journal: i-perception
ISSN: 2041-6695
Publisher Information: London : Sage Publishing
Year of publication: 2021
Volume: 12
Issue: 4
Pages: 1-17
Language(s): English
DOI: 10.1177/20416695211038265
Wearing face masks has become a usual practice in acute infection events inducing the problem of misinterpreting the emotions of others. Empirical evidence about face masks mainly relies on adult data, neglecting, for example, school kids who firmly are dependent on effective nonverbal communication. Here we offer insights from a joint school–university project. Data indicate that emotional reading of 9 to 10 years old pupils (N = 57) was similarly impaired as adults on an overall performance level, but that their selective performance on specific emotions was quite different. Kids showed extreme problems in reading the emotion disgust, strong effects on fear and sadness, and only mild effects on happiness, but also even better performances for emotional states anger and neutral when faces were masked. This project did gain not only relevant data about children’s perception but also made clear how fruitful seriously conducted school projects can be to encourage the interest and commitment for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-relevant topics.
GND Keywords: Mund-Nasen-Schutz; COVID-19; Schulkind; Gefühlsausdruck
Keywords: face masks, children, COVID-19, emotional states, STEM, intersectional school-university projects
DDC Classification: 150 Psychology  
RVK Classification: CQ 5200   
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Article
Release Date: 31. January 2022