Direct Social Perception of Emotions in Close Relations

Andrea Blomqvist


Drawing on a pluralist approach to mindreading, I explore Direct Social Perception with respect to perceiving the emotional states of people that we are close to, such as spouses, friends, and family. I argue that in general, emotions are embodied and can be perceived directly. I further claim that perceptual content includes concepts. That is, I argue against a non-conceptual view of emotion recognition, claiming instead that we learn emotional concepts by attending to certain expressive patterns of emotions. This view implicates that we can directly perceive both basic and non-basic emotions of people we are close to.


direct social perception; embodied emotions; mindreading; pattern recognition

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