Children can recognise adult emotions even behind face masks, according to a study by researchers at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).
Mandatory face masks in schools and pre-schools have raised concerns about children’s development and emotional recognition in particular, says a CHUV press release on Tuesday. But this study shows that children are able to recognise the emotions of anger, joy and sadness, even behind masks.
For the research, 276 children aged three to six with no developmental problems were presented with pictures of actors with and without masks expressing an emotion. The children were able to identify the emotion accurately in two-thirds of the cases. The emotions of the masked faces were more difficult to recognise, but only to a small extent.
“Our results show that children have a great capacity for adaptation that should not be under-estimated,” says Myriam Bickle Graz, a pediatric doctor who led the research.
The study is published in the journal JAMA pediatrics under the title “The Role of Face Masks in the Recognition of Emotions by Preschool Children”.
Source: Swiss Info