Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Krisztina Jakobsen


Social exclusion threatens a person’s need to belong and prompts them to behave in ways that often facilitate reaffiliation. For adults, exclusion increases attention to social information and facial cues, including an enhanced identification of Duchenne (genuine) and non-Duchenne (posed) smiles. There is some evidence that experiencing inclusion before or after exclusion can buffer or mitigate the experienced effects of exclusion, respectively. This study investigated whether 6- and 7-year-old children (N = 24) are also sensitive to perceptual changes in smiles following witnessed inclusion and exclusion. Contrary to our predictions, children in our study did not demonstrate improved accuracy in smile identification after witnessing exclusion, and instead demonstrated improved accuracy after witnessing inclusion. Additionally, we did not find support for any buffering or mitigating effects of witnessing inclusion. These findings suggest that perhaps children are not yet as adept at making distinctions between Duchenne and non-Duchenne smiles and/or that witnessing inclusion and exclusion may not be equivalent to experiencing inclusion and exclusion.

Available for download on Thursday, April 13, 2023