Immediate effects of a relaxation treatment upon subject perception of facial expression of emotion
The purpose of this study was to determine what the immediate effects of a relaxation treatment had upon the subject's perception of facial expression of emotion with state anxiety held constant. Specifically, this study attempted to compare subjects who received a 25-minute taped recorded relaxation treatment with subjects who did not receive the relaxation treatment and subsequent perception of facial expression of emotion. The research hypothesis was stated in the null form.A review of the relevant literature available on facial expression of emotion, relaxation treatment, and training programs designed for therapists supported the need for the study. In addition, the research indicated that techniques for reliably evaluating facial expression of emotion were not extant.All subjects for the study were graduate level students enrolled in at least one Guidance and Counseling course offered. spring quarter, 1978, at a midwestern university. The university's Research Computing Unit randomly selected 80 subjects from the total population of 167 potential. subjects. Randomly selected subjects were then randomly assigned to either the experimental group or study two the control group. The sex of the subject was controlled for in the random assignment of subjects to each group. Each group, experimental and control, consisted of 20 males and 20 females. Experimental group subjects ranged in age from 22 to 40, with a mean age of 29.8. Control group subjects ranged in age from 22 to 57, with a mean age of 30.7. The total of 80 randomly selected subjects who participated in this study were scheduled to participate in the at one time.The Multiple Affect Adjective Check List, Today Form (MAACL) was used to obtain the subject's state anxiety score (the covariate measure). Following the administration of the MAACL, experimental group subjects received a 25-minute tape recorded relaxation treatment. The Pictures of Facial Affect (PFA) was administered to both groups to measure the subject's perception of facial expression of emotion. The PFA consists of 110 high quality slides which depict 7 facial expressions of emotion. The 7 subtests of, the PFA include: happy, sad, fear, anger, surprise, disgust, and neutral. The PFA was administered to the experimental group following the relaxation treatment. The control group, which received no treatment, was given the PFA following the administration of the MAACL.Preliminary to the analysis of data, a KR-20 subtest analysis conducted on the PFA resulted in discarding subtests happy, fear, and surprise. These subtests lacked internal reliability. Further, the null hypothesis of no relation between the covariate (state anxiety as measured by the MAACL) and the set of selected dependent of the PFA was not rejected. The revised null hypothesis was tested through a multivariate analysis of variance. An F test significant at the .05 level was set. The results of the analysis indicated the revised null hypothesis was not rejected. Under the constraints of the study, the following conclusion was made. No significant differences were found between subjects who received relaxation treatment and subjects who did not receive relaxation treatment and subsequent perception of facial expression of emotion as measured by the PFA. However, an additional finding of the study was significant difference between men and women end their perception of facial expression of emotion. Suggestions for future research were offered based upon the analysis of data.