Emotion research has long been dominated by the “standard method” of displaying posed or acted static images of facial expressions of emotion. While this method has been useful it is unable to investigate the dynamic nature of emotion expression. Although continuous self-report traces have enabled the measurement of dynamic expressions of emotion, a consensus has not been reached on the correct statistical techniques that permit inferences to be made with such measures. We propose Generalized Additive Models and Generalized Additive Mixed Models as techniques that can account for the dynamic nature of such continuous measures. These models allow us to hold constant shared components of responses that are due to perceived emotion across time, while enabling inference concerning linear differences between groups. The mixed model GAMM approach is preferred as it can account for autocorrelation in time series data and allows emotion decoding participants to be modelled as random effects. To increase confidence in linear differences we assess the methods that address interactions between categorical variables and dynamic changes over time. In addition we provide comments on the use of Generalized Additive Models to assess the effect size of shared perceived emotion and discuss sample sizes. Finally we address additional uses, the inference of feature detection, continuous variable interactions, and measurement of ambiguity.
McKeown, G. J., & Sneddon, I. (2014). Modeling continuous self-report measures of perceived emotion using generalized additive mixed models. Psychological Methods, 19(1), 155-174. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0034282