The great precursor carefully examined universal facial expressions and emotions is the American Paul Ekman. His study was based on showing a serie of drawings interpreting emotional expressions in several communities around the world. Although some of these populations were isolated, the result was that all six basic emotions clearly identified. Therefore, Ekman verified that there is a universal emotions, and classified into six basic emotions that are: sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, joy and fear.
The famous psychologist, anthropologist and sociologist of the twentieth century found that micro expressions are innate to human beings, this allowed him to establish a system of activated codes (FACS) to find an investigation of the movements of the facial muscles that attach various expressions. This system came to identify slight muscle movements in the faces of girls and newborn babies, because they show the same expressions of emotion that adult people.
Moreover, the US argues that symbolic gestures are acquired through culture, where every part of the world have different meanings. An example would be the simple gesture of having the “thumbs up”, which in English-speaking countries, or in Spain, communicates something positive that is reflected as a “good”, “ok” etc. By contrast, in countries like Iran, Russia, West Africa or Greece it has the meaning of insult, and Japan is a male. Ekman about this gives reason to biologist Darwin.
Universal facial expressions and emotions
Ekman would tell us that the actors, if they are really good interpreters come to pass that exposes the script. And politicians? In the same way if they are good speakers and believe in the transmitting speech they can reach disguise their emotions under a veil of communication.
However, sometimes these expressions may be accompanied by other nonverbal emotions like the fact of sweating, blushing … are moving other expressions, which can not be controlled. May help these nonverbal expressions reveal that what we say or do not match what we mean.
In sum, Ekman makes a qualitative leap in the analysis of facial expressions claiming that intercultural and occur in all societies of the world. Also produces a new emotion´s list which incorporates: amusement, contempt, contentment, embarrassment, excitement, guilt, pride of accomplishment, relief, satisfaction and sensory pleasure.
This research has expanded the knowledge of emotions and can assign these criteria knowing other fields to draw other conclusions and skills. As a result, we can find an analysis of emotions either from the realm of politics, consumption, research … That is, many applications that give us different results. Therefore, we are facing a new tool that allows us to examine facial expressions and give them an interpretation.
Do you think you’d know interpret the face of emotions?