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Chapter 4

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PSYC18 Chapter 4 – Communication of Emotions - everyone is flirting, all the time: Givens and Perper in singles bars watching men and women interact - Initial attention-getting phase (arms, flashy watches), recognition phase (gaze, provocative brushes), keeping-time phase (mirroring actions) Five kinds of nonverbal behaviour - Smiling: different smiles, with different meanings  Smile to be polite, hide inappropriate feelings, express romantic attraction, signal weakness (Single words like smile fail to adequately describe the language of nonverbal communication - Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen o Emblems: nonverbal gestures that directly translate to words (e.g. Peace sign, shame on you), vary in meaning across cultures, o Illustrator: Nonverbal gesture that accompanies our speech: hand gestures, facial gestures (raising eyebrows, nodding head) o Regulators: nonverbal behaviours that we use to coordinate conversation: looking at person they’re talking to, turnin away when you don’t wish to speak o Self-adaptor: nervous beahviours people engage in with no seeming intention (touching necks, jiggle legs, stroke chins, etc.) o Nonverbal expressions or displays of emotion: signals in the face, voice, body, and touch Facial expressions of emotion - The markers of emotional expressions o 1) Expressions of emotion tend to be fairly brief (1-10 seconds) o 2) Facial expressions of emotion involve involuntary muscle actions that people cannot produce and cannot suppress even when instructed (pressing lips together is voluntary) o 3) Emotional expressions should have their parallels or homologues in the displays of other species - Studies of the universality of facial expressions o Darwin proposed three principles to explain why emotional expressions have the appearance that they do  1) Principle of serviceable habits: expressive behaviours that have led to rewards will re-occur  2) Principle of antithesis: Opposing states will be associated with opposing expressions  3) Principle of nervous discharge: excess undirected energy is released in random expressions like face touches and leg jiggles o Darwin claimed expressions of emotion = human universals  Tomkins, Ekman and Izard categorized it into:  Encoding hypothesis: if emotions are universal, 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 ways PSYC18 Chapter 4 – Communication of Emotions  Ekman’s 6 expressions: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, surprise  traveled to Papua, New Guinea - Critiques of the studies of universal facial expressions o Gradient critique: if it’s universal, then they should be produced the same way and be equally recognizable but it isn’t o Forced Choice: They had to use the terms the researchers provided, what if they would have rather chosen something that wasn’t a choice? (Haidt and Keltner compared US and India) o Ecological Validity: Perhaps expressions portrayed in Ekman’s studies are not the kinds of expressions that people routinely judge in their daily lives: stylized and exaggerated - Discovering new facial displays of emotions o Contempt already added, can add embarassment, shame, pride, love, desire and sympathy as well o Embarassment: Appeasement-related emotion  Signals the individual’s lower status, to bring about social reconciliation  Keltner (1995) made students embarassed by making them do weird faces and then took frame-by-frame analysis on the 10 seconds that followed the time when the participants were told to rest  People from a small town in India were presented with static photos of the experiment and they too labeled the display as embarassment  Gaze aversion (classic cut-off behaviour many species rely on to appease others) o Displays of positive emotion  Love (Robert Frank, 1988) serves a vital commitment function, signaling devotion and commitment to potential romantic partners (e.g. mutual gaze, open posture, forward leans)  Pride: signaled by nonverbal actions that signal the opposite of weakness  expansive posture, head movements up and back  Sympathy/compassion: feeling of concern for enhancing the welfare of someone who is in need or suffering - Facial expression and the coordination of social interaction o Facial expressions coordinate social interactions through their informative, evocative, and incentive functions o Informative function is that emotional experience and expression are sources of information about the social world o Emotion displays have evocative functions, eliciting complementary or matching emotions from relationship partners - Cultural variation in facial expressions of emotions o Cultural variation: emotional expression seems to vary dramatically across cultures (e.g. Inuit do not express anger o Cultural variation in facial behaviour: two ways that members of different cultures vary  1) Cultures develop culture-specific ritualized displays of emotion, cultures might take
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