Context: Identifying the factors that may interfere with or sharpen the ability to recognise emotions when observing patients is a critical goal in medical education. This study addressed these issues by investigating the effects of facial appearance bias on medical students’ emotion recognition (Experiment 1) and whether such bias is modulated by the activation of relational caregiving schema (Experiment 2). Methods: In Experiment 1, medical students were asked to recognise the emotions expressed by individuals differing in facial appearance (trustworthy, neutral and untrustworthy). In Experiment 2, they completed the same type of emotion recognition task after activating and anchoring themselves to the representation of the relational/human competences typical of a competent professional caregiver or after a control non-representation condition. Results: In both experiments, emotion recognition was affected by facial appearance bias: medical students were less accurate and slower in their recognition of emotions displayed by untrustworthy-looking individuals than in their recognition of emotions exhibited by individuals evoking more positive inferences. In Experiment 2, the activation of care schema enhanced medical students’ emotion recognition ability regardless of facial appearance-based inferences. Conclusions: Medical students’ emotion recognition is affected by appearance-based bias, but such bias may be weakened by techniques that harness medical students’ personal affective/relational and representational resources. Thus, the results provide a basis for designing curricula aimed at challenging implicit negative bias and promoting medical students’ emotion recognition ability starting in the early stages of their education.

Emotion recognition in medical students: effects of facial appearance and care schema activation

Colonnello, Valentina
;
Mattarozzi, Katia
;
Russo, Paolo M
2019

Abstract

Context: Identifying the factors that may interfere with or sharpen the ability to recognise emotions when observing patients is a critical goal in medical education. This study addressed these issues by investigating the effects of facial appearance bias on medical students’ emotion recognition (Experiment 1) and whether such bias is modulated by the activation of relational caregiving schema (Experiment 2). Methods: In Experiment 1, medical students were asked to recognise the emotions expressed by individuals differing in facial appearance (trustworthy, neutral and untrustworthy). In Experiment 2, they completed the same type of emotion recognition task after activating and anchoring themselves to the representation of the relational/human competences typical of a competent professional caregiver or after a control non-representation condition. Results: In both experiments, emotion recognition was affected by facial appearance bias: medical students were less accurate and slower in their recognition of emotions displayed by untrustworthy-looking individuals than in their recognition of emotions exhibited by individuals evoking more positive inferences. In Experiment 2, the activation of care schema enhanced medical students’ emotion recognition ability regardless of facial appearance-based inferences. Conclusions: Medical students’ emotion recognition is affected by appearance-based bias, but such bias may be weakened by techniques that harness medical students’ personal affective/relational and representational resources. Thus, the results provide a basis for designing curricula aimed at challenging implicit negative bias and promoting medical students’ emotion recognition ability starting in the early stages of their education.
Colonnello, Valentina*; Mattarozzi, Katia; Russo, Paolo M
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/669127
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