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Constants Across Cultures in the Face and Emotion

Senior Seminar Study

Rachel R

on 28 March 2013

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Transcript of Constants Across Cultures in the Face and Emotion

Which part of the face is the most expressive? The eyebrows! Method Sample: isolated, preliterate Fore tribe in New Guinea
130 children, 189 adults
Researchers showed participants photographs of different facial expressions and read a story corresponding to one of the emotions.
Participants were then asked to point to photo that best matched story.
Ex: "Her child has died and she feels very sad." Background and Purpose of Study Glimpse into Ekman and Friesen's study: Implications/Conclusion
of Research Significant to Nature vs. Nurture debate
Facial expressions appear to be innate rather than learned.
Supports Darwin's claim that facial expression could be important in assisting in survival.
Humans may be biologically programmed to recognize expressions that offer more survival information.
Facial feedback theory suggests that making a certain facial expression actually helps one to experience and interpret that emotion. I can see it all over your face! Results Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1971).
Constants across cultures in the face and emotion.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 17, 124-129. Happiness Anger Sadness Disgust Surprise Fear by Maddie Privott and Rachel Ridgill Two opposing theories:
Facial behaviors are culturally influenced
Facial behaviors are innate and universal
Ekman's previous research suggested that facial expressions are universal, but design was limited.
Study's purpose was to prove theory that specific facial expressions corresponding to basic emotions are universal, not culturally specific. 92% 85% 79% 83% 68% 81% Can you see it all over our faces? Similar identification ability between males and females, adults and children.
Children scored slightly higher.
Greatest difficulty was in distinguishing between fear and surprise. Discussion Results clearly support hypothesis that particular facial behaviors are universally associated with particular emotions.
Researchers videotaped Fore people portraying each of the six facial expressions; these were later correctly identified by U.S. college students.
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