HOW MODERN HUMANS SEE ANCIENT FIGURE FACES: THE DIFFERENTIAL IMPRESSIONS AND PERCEIVED EXPRESSIONS FROM CLAY FIGURE FACES FROM PREHISTORIC AND PROTOHISTORIC JAPAN

Hideaki Kawabata, Reiko Shiba, Naoko Matsumoto, Takehiko Matsugi, Liliana Janik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Anthropomorphic artifacts have unique characteristics, as they are closely related to social and technical cognition and contain complex information. However, their meanings can be elusive. The present study aimed to examine how modern Japanese people perceive the faces of Japanese prehistoric (13,000-800 cal BC) and protohistoric (AD 250-600) anthropomorphic artifacts by focusing on the facial expressions and impressions of clay figure faces. The study included 75 Japanese participants and 131 figure faces from three historical periods. The results showed that participants perceived the prehistoric and protohistoric facial expressions differently (as being happier, sadder, and less surprised), depending on the period they were created in. We examined the relationships between impressions and perceived expressions of the figure faces, and found that faces became more complicated due to the introduction of facial morphometric features. The results may be applicable to understanding the variation in Japanese figures, especially the faces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-136
Number of pages21
JournalPsychologia
Volume63
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Anthropomorphic artifacts
  • Clay figures
  • Facial expressions
  • Impression
  • Online experiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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