Chapter 4 Textbook

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16 Feb 2011

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Chapter 4: Communication of Emotions
A layered and varied language by which women and men negotiate romantic inclinations
The communication of emotion is central to play, grieving, arguing, soothing, status
negotiation, persuasion, and socialization
People express emotions with facial actions, with their voice, with touch, with posture, and
with their gait
Five kids of nonverbal behavior
Often single words like smile fail adequately to describe the language of nonverbal
Five categories of nonverbal communication:
oEmblems: nonverbal gestures that directly translate to words
May vary across cultures
e.g. hand signs
oIllustrator: nonverbal gesture that accompanies our speech and often makes it vivid
and visual
e.g. hand gestures when we speak
oRegulators: nonverbal behaviors that we use to coordinate conversion
e.g. orientation of their bodies toward people whom they wish to start
oSelf-adaptor: nervous behaviors people engage in with no seeming intention, as if
simply to release nervous energy
e.g. touching of necks, jiggling of legs, stroking of chins, etc
oNonverbal expressions or displays of emotion: signal in the face, voice, body, and
touch that convey emotion
Facial expressions of emotion
The markets of emotional expressions 1. Expressions of emotions tend to be fairly brief,
typically lasting between 1 and 10 seconds
2. Facial expressions of emotion involve involuntary muscle actions that people cannot
produce when they feel like it, and cannot suppress, even when instructed to do so
Affective displays, as opposed to mock or feigned expressions, are reliable indicators of the
individuals feeling
3. Emotional expressions should have their parallels, or homologues, in the displays of
other species
Studies of the universality of facial expressions
Darwin proposed three principles to explain why emotional expressions have the
appearance that they do:
oPrinciple of serviceable habits: expressive behaviors that have led to rewards will re-
occur in the future
oPrinciple of antithesis: opposing states will be associated with opposing expressions
Probably at play in the properties of expressions of embarrassment and pride
oPrinciple of nervous discharge: excess, undirected energy is released in random
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Darwin advanced his claim that facial expressions of emotion, as part of our evolutionary
heritage, are human universals
oTwo hypotheses:
Encoding hypothesis: if emotions are universal, the experience of different
emotions should be associated with the same distinct facial expressions in
every society, worldwide
Decoding hypothesis: if there are universal emotions, people of different
cultures should interpret these expressions in the same way
Critiques of the studies of universal facial expressions
Several critiques of the hypothesis of universal facial expressions:
oGradient critique: facial expressions that are universal should be produced in much
the same way, and be equally recognizable in all cultures
Results show gradients between the recognition of some expressions that are
well recognized universally (like happiness) and other expressions (such as
fear, surprise, and disgust_ which are less well recognized by people in
cultures remote from those of the person portraying the expression
oForced choice: participants were forced to label the expressions using terms the
researchers provided
A participant can label a face correctly by a process of elimination
oEcological validity: perhaps expressions portrayed are not the kinds of expressions
that people routinely judge in their daily lives
The expressions are highly stylized and exaggerated
Discovering new facial displays of emotions
Other expressions with properties of universality have been discovered
oe.g. contempt, exhilaration
Embarrassment thought of by many as an appeasement-related emotion, which signals the
individuals lower status
A common elicitor of embarrassment loss of physical poise and composure in front of
It had the fluid, gradual onset and offset times of an involuntary expression
However, it did not have characteristics of feigned expressions which, like polite smiles,
can come on the face in millisecond, or remain for hours
Human embarrassment displays do resemble the appeasement displays of other species
Various species, including pigs, rabbits, blue-footed boobies, pigeons, doves, and loons, use
head movements down, head turns, and head bobs to appease
oReduces the size of the body, signaling submissiveness
Lip presses, lip puckers, face touch
Elements of embarrassment are routinely seen in the appeasement displays of other
Displays of positive emotion one could readily argue that several positive emotions are likely
to have distinctive displays
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