Dr. Parmley’s recent research interests have included how adults and children interpret the social cues of others, children’s interpretation of a peer’s emotion, and how gender stereotypes and the ambiguity of an emotion might influence the perception of an emotional message. Currently Dr. Parmley is investigating the perception of emotions in relationships varying in intimacy. Dr. Parmley is a social psychologist.
My research program has focused on how we come to understand those around us and interpret their emotional cues. We live in an increasingly diverse world, and understanding communication in this diverse world is important. How we interpret others’ emotional cues is important because our interpretations impact how we behave toward them. My collaborators include psychologists from Assumption College, Brandeis University, Tsinghua University, and Worcester State University.
Here are descriptions of my current research collaborations and programs.
Of the many factors that impact how we interpret others’ emotional cues, I have examined how contextual ambiguity and stereotypes impact this process in both adults and children and, more recently, how the closeness of interpersonal relationships, culture, and physiology impact how we read the emotional expressions of others.
My collaborators for these studies:
Sarah Cavanagh, PhD, Department of Psychology, Assumption College
Joseph Cunningham, PhD, Department of Psychology, Brandeis University
XiaoAn Wan, PhD, Department of Psychology, Tsinghua University
Fang Zhang, PhD, Department of Psychology, Assumption College.
Unlike research on other emotions, research on serenity is still in its infancy in the field of psychology. My colleagues and I are interested in examining the underlining mechanisms involved in serenity to better define it. In particular, we are interested in exploring how serenity is related to mindfulness and how the induction of serenity might impact how we process social information
Keith Lahikainen, PsyD, Department of Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies, Assumption College
Champika Soya, PhD, Department of Psychology, Worcester State University
Parmley, M., & Cunningham, J. G. (in press). She looks sad, but he looks mad:
The effects of age, gender, and ambiguity on emotion perception. The Journal of Social Psychology.
Zhang, F., & Parmley, M. (2011). What your best friend sees that I don’t see: Comparing female close friends and casual acquaintances on the perception of emotional facial expressions of varying intensities. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 28-39.
Recent Presentations (*Denotes Assumption student co-authors):
Parmley, M., Zhang, F., *Colburn, K. L., & *Georges, N. N. (2014, February). Decoding facial expressions across the menstrual cycle: Support for the evolutionary perspective. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.
Zhang, F., Parmley, M., Cavanagh, S., & Wan, X. A. (2013, July). Cultural differences in selective attention to facial expressions of emotions: A case for engagement and disengagement. Poster presented at the 13th annual European Congress of Psychology Conference, Stockholm, Sweden.
Parmley, M., Zhang, F., *Colburn, K. L., *Walker, A., *Gjemnica, F., & *Georges, N. N. (2013, May). Exploring serenity: Identifying distinguishing characteristics. Poster presented at the annual Association for Psychological Science Conference, Washington, D.C.
Zhang, F., & Parmley, M., Cavanagh, S., & Wan, X. A. (2013, May). Cultural differences in selective attention to facial expressions of emotions. Poster presented at the annual Association for Psychological Science Conference, Washington, D.C.
Parmley, M., Zhang, F., Cavanagh, S., & Wan, X. A. (2012, August). Identifying American and Chinese facial expressions: Sex of the face can make a difference. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Convention, Orlando, FL.
Zhang, F., Parmley, M., Wan, X. A., & Cavanagh, S. (2012, July). Recognition of emotional facial expressions of varying intensities: Examining in-group advantage in an American-Chinese comparison. Paper presented at the 30th International Congress of Psychology, Cape Town, South Africa.
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