Nermeen H. Omara Ahmed M. Megreya

Abstract

Faces are one of the basic systems through which the emotions of other people can be recognized. Indeed, different emotions (e.g., happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust) have distinct facial expressions. Therefore, facial emotion recognition is an essential skill for social communication. However, some individuals suffer from alexithymia; that is, the inability to recognise or produce facial emotions. This study aimed to examine individual differences in alexithymia and facial emotion processing among a sample of university students (N = 162). The 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale along with three facial emotion-processing tasks that assess recognition, perception, and memory, were utilized. Gender differences in alexithymia were found, as females had higher levels of alexithymia than males. In contrast, no gender difference was noticed for facial emotion-processing tasks. In addition, there were positive correlations between alexithymia and facial emotion processing. Accordingly, the failure of individuals with alexithymia to recognise their own emotions and the emotions of others might be related to the impairment of the ability to process facial emotions in the first place. Therefore, improving facial emotion recognition skills in individuals with alexithymia might ameliorate their ability to recognize emotions.

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Keywords

Alexithymia
Facial emotion processing
Individual differences
Gender differences

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How to Cite
Omara نرمين حمدي, and Megreya أحمد محمد. 2022. “Individual Differences in Alexithymia and Facial Emotion Processing”. Journal of Educational Sciences 19 (19):8-27. https://doi.org/10.29117/jes.2022.0072.
Section
Articles in Arabic