Vary their meaning across cultures.
Emblems: nonverbal gestures that directly translate into words (i.e. the peace sign).
Illustrator: a nonverbal gesture that accompanies our speech, and often makes it vivid and visual.
Regulator: nonverbal behaviours that we use to coordinate conversation.
Self-adapter: nervous behaviours people engage in with no seeming intention, as if simply to release nervous energy.
A polite smile does not accompany the experience of emotion might be exceptionally brief (less than a second)
or very long (lasting throughout an unpleasant dinner party).
Expressions of emotions tend to be fairly brief, typically lasting between 1 to 10 seconds.
Facial expressions involve involuntary muscle actions that people cannot produce when they feel like it, and cannot
suppress, even when told to do so.
Emotional expressions should have their parallels, or homologues, in the displays of other species.
Markers of emotional expressions.
Principle of serviceable habits, expressive behaviours that have led to rewards will re-occur in the future.
Principle of antithesis, holds that opposing states will be associated with opposing expressions.
Principle of nervous discharge, excess, undirected energy is released in random expressions, such as face touches, leg
Darwin proposed three principles to explain why emotional expressions have the appearance that they do.
Encodinghypothesis: if emotions are universal, the experience of different emotions should be associated with the same
distinct facial expressions in every society, worldwide.
Decodinghypothesis: if there are universal emotions, people of different cultures should interpret these expressions in the
Both US college students and Fore people correctly identified the right emotions of each other.
Ekman used the Dashiell method on the Fore people, with stories for each of the six emotions.
Gradients between the recognition of some expressions that are well recognized universally, like happiness are
less well recognized by people in cultures remote from those of the person portraying the expression.
Participants are forced to label the expressions that researchers have provided.
Perhaps expressions portrayed in Ekman's studies are not the kinds of expressions that people routinely judge in
Could more subtle expressions be reliably judged?
Critiques on the hypothesis of universal facial expression:
Gaze aversion, turning heads away or down, avoiding eye contact, controlled smile with lip presses and lip
puckers, and the face touch are all signals of embarrassment.
Embarrassmentis thought of by many as an appeasement-related emotion, which signals the individual's lower status,
to bring social reconciliation.
Momentary experience of loveis expressed in a coherent pattern of smiling, mutual gaze, affiliative hand gestures, open
posture, and forward leans.
In contrast, desireis signaled in a variety of lip-related functions, including lip licks, wipes, and tongue protrusions.
Prideis head movement up and back, an expansive posture.
Sympathyis related with oblique eyebrows and a concerned gaze, associated with increased helping behaviour.
Minimum universality is when evidence is strong that some expressions are recognized worldwide, while for other
expressions the evidence is less strong.
Happiness, disgust, fear, anger, sadness, and surprise are the universal facial expressions, along with contempt and exhilaration.
Informativefunction is that emotional experience and expression are sources of information about the social world.
Evocativefunction elicits complementary or matching emotions from relationship partners.
Incentives function displays invite desired social behaviour.
Facial expressions coordinate social interactions through their informative, evocative, and incentive functions.
Ritualized displays: culture specific, stylized ways of expressing particular emotions.
Members of different cultures regulate their emotions differently, according to cultural-specific display rules.
Cultural variation: emotional expression seems to vary dramatically across cultures.
Americans are better at recognizing anger, disgust, fear, and sadness, than the Japanese, but accuracy rates did
not differ for happiness or surprise.
This is because Americans are from more individualistic, independent cultures that encourage the expression of
First difference is in the accuracy of interpretation.
Second difference is in how appropriate members of different cultures believe emotional expressions are vis-a-vis
Cultural variation in interpretationof facial expressions.
Chapter 4. Communication of Emotions
Thursday, February 10, 2011