If you think the answer is yes, not long ago Ashley Hutchison would have been on your side. But now the doctoral candidate in counseling psychology at Ball State University is not so sure.
In a study published in Training and Education in Professional Psychology, Hutchison and her advisor, Lawrence Gerstein, PhD, found that graduate students in various applied programs were actually no better at labeling emotions in photographs than non-psychology undergraduate students.
But take the findings "with a grain of salt" because they don't reflect the social context present in therapy, says Hutchison. Contempt and anger may seem interchangeable in a photograph, but during a therapy session with a fuming client, the difference — and how you respond to it — is more obvious.