While conducting research on emotions and facial expressions in Papua New Guinea in , psychologist Carlos Crivelli discovered something startling. He showed Trobriand Islanders photographs of the standard Western face of fear — wide-eyed, mouth agape — and asked them to identify what they saw. Instead, they saw an indication of threat and aggression. But if Trobrianders have a different interpretation of facial expressions, what does that mean? Instead of reliable readouts of our emotional states, they show our intentions and social goals. Our smiles and frowns may well be instinctive.
How Do You Know Which Emotion a Facial Expression Represents?
Frontiers | How Facial Expressions of Emotion Affect Distance Perception | Psychology
The most notable research into the topic came from psychologist Paul Ekman, who pioneered research into emotion recognition in the s. His team of researchers provided their test subjects with photos of faces showing different emotional expressions. The test subjects then had to define the emotional states they saw in each photo, based on a predetermined list of possible emotions they had seen prior. Through these studies, Ekman found a high agreement across members of Western and Eastern cultures when it came to selecting emotional labels that corresponded with facial expressions. Expressions he found to be universal included those indicating happiness, disgust, anger, sadness , surprise and fear.
Facial expressions are used by humans to convey various types of meaning in various contexts. In this mini review we summarize findings on the use and acquisition of facial expressions by signers and present a unified account of the range of facial expressions used by referring to three dimensions on which facial expressions vary: semantic, compositional, and iconic. Humans perceive facial expressions as conveying meaning, but where do they come from and what exactly do they mean? Based on observations of facial expressions typically associated with emotions Darwin hypothesized that they must have had some instrumental purpose in evolutionary history.
Not yet. One day we may have equipment that can monitor the six communication channels from humans face, body, psychophysiology, voice, verbal style and verbal content and compare behaviour from them to the account or story being presented, the baseline behaviour of the person and factor in the context where the monitoring is taking place. It would need to include artificial intelligence that can hypothesise about any inconsistencies and dynamically introduce probes or questions that test the hypotheses to inform a judgement or conclusion. They are universal — felt emotions stimulate the same muscles on the face for each emotion universally — regardless of culture or other individual differences. The second part of this myth is nothing to do with the universality argument and is often true.