Facial Expressions Research Paper

840 Words 4 Pages
What kind of day do you think this woman is having?

What’s going on here?

And probably isn’t hard to imagine how these two are feeling, right?

That’s because most humans are really good at silently communicating and interpreting a whole range emotions using only their facial muscles.

Whether voluntary or involuntary, a simple curled lip, raised eyebrow, or crinkled nose, can speak volumes.

In fact, many psychologists believe that not only are some of our basic facial expressions innate and not learned, but that they’re also universal across cultures.

They believe that whether you were born in Tokyo, Oklahoma, or the isolated Amazon, you’re born with an innate ability to identify certain basic emotions like anger, fear, happiness,
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This immediately expands your field of vision, letting in more light, and heightening your visual sensitivity to help locate potential danger.

But if you, say, accidentally step in a mound of mystery poo on that walk, you’ll see different results. As you recoil in disgust, your eyes narrow, letting less light in as you sharpen your focus to examine your soiled foot.

These findings also support the idea that facial expressions are innate, and suggest emotions and social communication evolved from these early adaptive reactions to outside stimuli.

Today, pretty much everyone agrees that facial movements express emotion, so the main criticisms against the universality hypothesis have more to do with testing methods and the idea that certain expressions may be conditioned, or require more social context to correctly identify.

And there’s definitely a learned component to our facial expressions, too.

Anyone who has politely nodded during a relative’s political rant when they felt like screaming inside knows how we learn to control our faces and mask emotions in certain social situations. So even if many facial expressions are innate, managing them is often culturally
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Some research suggests that thanks to a biofeedback loop between our muscles and brains, our facial expressions don’t just communicate emotion, but also regulate them to a degree.

In this way, plastering a big grin on your face even when you’re not happy could actually lighten your

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