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Editor's Note
November 15, 2021

On Masks and Emotion Recognition

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, Seattle Children’s Research Institute, Seattle, Washington
  • 2Editor, JAMA Pediatrics
JAMA Pediatr. Published online November 15, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2021.4562

This study by Schneider et al1 attempted to answer an important question: Are preschool children’s abilities to recognize emotions significantly hampered by mask wearing? Although it is a well-controlled laboratory experiment, the approach used does not perfectly simulate real life where the tone of voice and the movement of faces would convey additional cues to children. Given the small effect sizes (especially compared with the overall rate of correct responses), these results provide ample reassurance that masks are unlikely to inhibit children’s ability to understand emotions.

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