Facial expressions-including fear-may not be as universal as we thought

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Plazma Inferno!, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

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    For more than a century, scientists have wondered whether all humans experience the same basic range of emotions—and if they do, whether they express them in the same way. In the 1870s, it was the central question Charles Darwin explored in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. By the 1960s, emeritus psychologist Paul Ekman, then at the University of California (UC) in San Francisco, had come up with an accepted methodology to explore this question. He showed pictures of Westerners with different facial expressions to people living in isolated cultures, including in Papua New Guinea, and then asked them what emotion was being conveyed. Ekman’s early experiments appeared conclusive. From anger to happiness to sadness to surprise, facial expressions seemed to be universally understood around the world, a biologically innate response to emotion.
    That conclusion went virtually unchallenged for 50 years, and it still features prominently in many psychology and anthropology textbooks.
    But a new study suggests that some facial expressions may not be so universal. In fact, several expressions commonly understood in the West—including one for fear—have very different meanings to one indigenous, isolated society in Papua New Guinea. The new findings call into question some widely held tenets of emotional theory, and they may undercut emerging technologies, like robots and artificial intelligence programs tasked with reading people’s emotions.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016...ncluding-fear-may-not-be-universal-we-thought
     

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