PSYC18 – Lecture 5 Prof’s Speech - Purple
Slide 3 – Put on a Happy Face
- Does Feedback from the face shape how we feel?
- FlloydAllport (1924): feedback from the face helps differentiate negative emotions (anger vs.
o There is some support for facial expression shaping the emotions we feel
o We can feel general negativity and we‟ll know that because of what the face is doing
i.e. the eyes widening, furrowed brows, clenched jaw
o the face helps you label or figure out what emotion it is
- Sylvan Tomkins (1960s): Facial muscles differentiate all emotions
o Attending to the face differentiates all emotions
o Facial muscle actions helps you identify the spectrum of emotions
o Face actions case emotions; facial actions are the antecedent
o Affect is primarily facial behaviour
o Endorses that the face is central to emotional experience
Slide 4 – The Face is the Place for Emotion
- A position maintained by Tomkins based on the following pieces of evidence:
- 1. Newborn babies, responsiveness to facial stimulation.
o Tickle cheeks, baby laughs or smiles
o Facial stimulation brings the biggest response compared to other body parts
- 2. Development of head movement, visual fixations, eye-hand coordination.
o Development of facial muscles develops before walking, hand-eye coordination
- 3. Afferent-efferent channels.
o There are more afferent channels between the face and brain than between the brain and
the rest of the body
- 4. Facial muscles are resistant to habituation
o Muscles in the face and instinctive actions are harder to dampen when carried out by the
face compared to other body parts – they are involuntary responses (i.e. close eyes when
someone blows air in face)
- 5. Face is center of expression.
o We look at another‟s face when we want to know how they feel
- Body language is important, but it is not what causes the emotion
- Ekman and Friesen (1960s): also emphasized the face as being central to emotion
- BUT…emotional expression only!
- The face is important, but it does not cause emotions, it is important for the expression of how we
- Why is the face so important for expression?
- Because it has a high sending capacity, facilitated by 2 things
o High sending capacity – it is able to send a lot of information to other parts of the body
Facilitated by how the face is structured o 1. Anatomical independence
Eye-lids-bridge of nose
Each zone functions independently, they can send different emotional
o 2. Low transmission time
Face muscles move quickly
Information can be transmitted very quickly because facial expression of emotion
can show micromomentary affect display – you may not notice it at the time, but
it is there
Slide 8 – Does Expression Represent Actual Emotion?
- Schachter & Wheeler (1962)
o Male subjects viewed slapstick film
o Subjects received an injection before the film
o Epinephrine, Chlorpromazine or Placebo condition
If injected with epinephrine, they would laugh more
Chlorpromazine – slows you down, laugh less
Placebo – nothing out of the ordinary, laugh normally
o DVs: amount of Laughter, Ratings of funniness after watching
o 1. Artificial induction of expression did not cause emotion.
o 2. Artificial reduction in expression did not inhibit emotion.
- Results: epinephrine leads to more laughing, chlorpromazine leads to the least amount of
o But it doesn‟t matter how much you laugh, it doesn‟t change how funny the film actually
is – subjective ratings were the same
- But this was only a study with men
o Maybe there are differences for females?
Slide 10 – Cukchip and Leventhal (1974)
- Male & female participants, single-frame cartoons
- Canned laughter present or absent (speaker playing laughter)
- Dependent Measures: laughter amount and subjective rating
- Expression & Evaluation
- Canned laugher condition – laugh more, hearing the sounds may induce laughter
- Laughing more does not change the underlying experience of emotion
o For women only: canned laughter impacted evaluation
o But – does this mean women were more amused in the canned laughter condition?
Women may have been more sensitive to laughter – changing the sensation
Slide 12 – Original Question: Does Expression Represent Actual Emotion? - Early research has shown that expression is not always representative of presence, degree, or type
of underlying felt emotion
- We do not necessarily feel an emotion if the expression is shown
o May feel neutral, but show the expression
o May laugh a lot, but find material only moderately funny
o People often smile when they are stressed
o Expression cannot always be trusted
- Not surprising
- So, how to differentiate real emotional expressions from non-emotional or feigned ones?
o Keltner, et al.‟s criteria: brief, involuntary, continuity
Real emotions are brief – 1-10 seconds from start to finish
Some muscle expression can‟t be inhibited – i.e. crinkling of eyes = real smile,
smothering need to yawn is hard
Continuity – expression is found in the animal kingdom too
o E.g., Embarrassment = real when Gaze aversion or face touching/covering, embarrassed
smile, head bowing
o Embarrassed smile interspersed with pressing lips
o Head down
These cannot be faked
Slide 14 – Is it possible to tell from someone‟s facial expressions… whether they‟re lying?
- Smiles when Lying
- Ekman & Friesen (1988) In JPSP
- Previously thought body is better gauge than face
- Face is being controlled by the liar
- However, perhaps some involuntary parts to expression
o Maybe there are facial components that we are not in control of
o Macroexpressions vs. microexpressions
Macro – big smile
Micro – involuntary, key to true feelings, i.e. boredom in eyes
Slide 15 – What is the difference between fake and real smiles?
- 1. Fake and Real smiles elicited and videotaped
o Focus on smiling and underlying emotion
o Student nurses interviewed about a film they‟ve watched. – either about pigeons, or a
o How do you feel about the film? – told to either lie or tell the truth about what they
o Honest vs. Deceptive interview
In the deceptive interview, they would express positive emotions, but did not feel
- 2. Can people spot the liars?
o Interviews were videotaped and still shots were taken when the nurses smiled o New student nurses evaluate still-frame photos from videos
New set of nurses
Looked at intensity – quantity
Or looked at context – what else was going on in the face as a backdrop – quality
Looking at the quality of the smile, you will be able to detect real ones
o Depends what their criteria are… quantity vs. quality.
We have facial expressions that provide cues
- We have seen that facial expressions provide cues to observers who interpret the nature of the
- But: the same cues may be interpreted differently depending on qualities of the observer.
Slide 18 – Effects of Alcohol Consumption and Alcohol Expectancy on Categorization of Perceptual
- Atwood et al. (2009). In Psychopharmacology.
- Our interest: Is alcohol consumption a factor that mediates how we decode emotional expressions
- Researchers noticed:
o 1. Alcohol consumption + aggressive behavior
People who drink are more likely to be aggressive
o 2. Still up in the air
- Possible mechanism:
- Sayette (1993)
o executive function disrupted by alcohol
If you drink, you can mistakenly read emotions of others
o Incorrect reading of facial expressions can trigger aggressive response.
- Disinhibition literature (e.g., Herman & Polivy)