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Carney Landis' Facial Expressions Experiment

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Paulina R

on 18 March 2014

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Transcript of Carney Landis' Facial Expressions Experiment

Biography:
Carney Landis was born on January 11, 1897, in a small Ohio town in West Alexandria.
He died on March 5, 1962.
He was a psychology graduate in the University of Minnesota.















Modern Day Examples:
The still face experiment
Facial experiments for

autistic children and adults
Experiment:
In 1924, Carney Landis designed an experiment to study if emotions evoke universal facial expressions.
Landis hypothesized that the subjects will react in the same way to different stimuli.
He started by gathering willing graduates from the University of Minnesota as his subjects.
He then painted black lines on the faces of the participants to see the movements of their facial muscles.
He exposed them to a variety of stimuli designed to provoke a strong psychological reaction.
The purpose of this experiment was to determine if all people have a common facial expression when feeling disgust, shock, joy, etc.
Landis made the participants watch pornography films, smell ammonia gas, and place their hands into a bucket of frogs.
During each test, he would take photographs of the subjects’ faces and record the position of the face lines.
Methods used:
Landis’ facial expression experiment was not successful and his hypothesis was not proven.
He was not able to find universal expressions for specific emotions.
Results:
Why was it unethical?
Participants were shown a live rat and were instructed by Landis to decapitate it.
Most of the participants refused to decapitate the rat, but eventually two thirds of the participants obeyed Landis’ request.
For the one third that refused to kill the rat, Landis would pick up a knife and cut the head of the rat in front of his subjects.
Landis' Facial Expressions Experiment, 1924
Carney Landis
Implications:
Most of the students had no idea how to perform the beheading in a humane manner and the animals were forced to experience great suffering.
Our perceptions of the use of animals in unethical experiments has changed, and people have now realized that there are more simpler and ethical ways to conduct experiments.
Instead of proving that there are universal facial expressions, Landis' experiment showed that people will to do anything for authorities no matter how bizarre and unethical they are.
It anticipated the results of the Milgram’s obedience experiment:
People behave according to the authorities will
Ex; the Nazi's, students in school, managers of the workplace, etc.
Violation of code of ethics:
He misused his professionalism by giving people the impression that it was acceptable to decapitate a live rat as a part of the experiment.
Did not respect the dignity of the subjects.
Did not inform the subjects of all events that would occur during the experiment.
Did not respect the rights of animals and did not proceed with the procedure in a humane way.
Did not bother to check the emotional stability of the subjects.
Canada's Code of Ethics...
Landis' experiment violated four of the codes of ethics of psychologists.

l.20 - Respect for the dignity of Persons:
Obtain informed consent of all activities, invasion of privacy, more than minimal risk of harm, or any attempt to change the behavior of research participants.
Landis failed to obtain informed consent for all the research activities that involved obtrusive measures. Ex. forcing the subjects to decapitate the rat.
ll.2 - Responsible Caring:
Avoiding doing harm to clients, research participants, employees, supervisees, students, trainees, colleagues, and others.

Landis exposed his subjects to ammonia which could potentially poison the participants. He also forced them to kill the rat against their will which can cause emotional instability.
ll.17 -
Not carrying out scientific or professional activity unless the probable benefit is proportionately greater than the risk involved.

Exposing the participants to ammonia and instructing them to kill an innocent animal to prove that there are universal facial expressions is not proportionate with the risks involved.
ll.46 -
Use a procedure subjecting animals to pain, stress, or private only if an alternative procedure is unavailable and the goal is justified by its prospective scientific, educational, or applied value.
Two thirds of the participants decapitated the rats, if they refused Landis would cut off the rats' head in front of them. The rats experienced a lot of pain and suffering since the participants didn't know how to kill them in a humane manner.

In this case, Landis could have used a different stimuli that evoked shock or surprise to the participants.
police investigations

psychologists

judges
Reading facial expressions is extremely
important for those who evaluate the
behavior of others:
(video)
Xheni Shehu
Saron Yohannes
Paulina Rabalski
Bibliography
Boese, Alex. "Facial expressions while decapitating a rat, 1924." Facial expressions while
decapitating a rat, 1924. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014. http://www.madsciencemuseum.com/msm/

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Hashisho, Ramzi . "Null Hypothesis - The Journal of Unlikely Science." Null Hypothesis. N.p., n.d.
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<http://prezi.com/ybi8atzctrcr/landis-facial-expressions-experiment/>.

"Landis' Facial Expressions Experiment - Top 10 Experiments Related to Psychology." Top 10
Experiments Related to Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
<http://jessicarosetop10experiments.weebly.com/landis-facial-expressions- experiment.html>.

Michiya. "Dark Psychology." : Experiment 3: Landis' Facial Expressions Experiment. N.p., n.d.
Web. 17 Mar. 2014. <http://a-study-in-psychology.blogspot.ca/2012/10/experiment-3- landis-facial-expressions.html>.

"Null Hypothesis - The Journal of Unlikely Science." Null Hypothesis. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar.
2014. http://www.null-hypothesis.co.uk/science/item/landis_universal

Reimer, David . "Carney Landis: The Scourge of Rats Everywhere | Games for the Web (Fall
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Rozga, Hatzga. "Landis' Facial Expression Experiment." prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2014.
<http://prezi.com/p39aw9vafyyi/landis-facial-expression-experiment/>.

Tims, Taylor . "Carney Landis: Facial Expressions Experiment." prezi.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 17
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