University of Cambridge > > Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars > Using the Ekman 60 Faces Test to Detect Emotion Recognition Deficit in Brain Injury Patients

Using the Ekman 60 Faces Test to Detect Emotion Recognition Deficit in Brain Injury Patients

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It is well documented that brain injury patients suffer from impaired emotion recognition. As one of the most widely used measurement tools, the Ekman 60 Faces test assesses the ability to recognise emotion via forced-choice labelling of facial expressions with one of six basic emotions: happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, disgust and anger. The administration of the test on brain injury patients is psychometrically problematic in terms of scoring accuracy, measurement invariance and assessment efficiency. The work presented in this talk aims to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Ekman 60 Faces Test and applies modern psychometric techniques to improve its accuracy and efficiency.

This work benefits from drawing on a large database of 194 brain injury patients, which is very rare in clinical research. Both classical statistical analysis and modern psychometric methods are applied to the detection of emotion recognition deficit in brain injury patients in contrast to a non-afflicted control group. Confirmatory Factor Analysis reveals that a bi-factor model exhibits the best model fit. It specifies a general factor of emotion recognition and six specific factors corresponding to specific emotion recognition. Factor scores, which take into consideration the differential difficulty levels of the items, are suggested as indicators of the underlying abilities. Item Response Theory analysis is then performed on the individual scales, and measurement invariance is further evaluated. After removing constraints on items that display bias, (partial) scalar invariance is established for specific emotion recognition scales. Finally, two distinctive approaches are employed to achieve brief measurement. First, a short form of the original test is developed with four items per scale balanced for the gender of the expressive face. Second, an adaptive testing procedure is simulated in order to explore the application of adaptive testing techniques to neuropsychological assessment, which has the potential to significantly shorten the administration while maintaining comparable level of accuracy and precision to the full-length scale.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars series.

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