Emotion in Pictures
They say that pictures are worth 1,000 words.
This seems especially true for images that show raw emotion, whether it be intense anger, bitter sadness or pure bliss.
You can tell a lot from a picture; even without any words, pictures tell a story.
What is fascinating when looking at pictures of emotion is that the basic emotions of anger, disgust, fear, contempt, happiness, sadness and surprise are shown on the face in exactly the same way regardless of the person’s age, gender or ethnicity.
Thus, when we see images that show these basic emotions, it doesn’t matter where they are from in the world, we can understand how that person is feeling because facial expressions are universal.
Its also important to understand that while facial expressions are universal, that doesn’t mean what triggers the emotion is the same in all cultures. What may cause someone to be happy in another culture may cause someone else in a different culture to be disgusted.
Facial expressions are universal because when they occur, the same muscles are activated in everyone’s face if they are human. Therefore, sadness looks the same on a person from Japan as it does on someone who is from Nicaragua and anger looks the same on a person from Argentina as it does on someone from India.
Here are some great pictures that depict raw emotion and that tell a story, even without words.
MSNBC Pictures of the Week March 11-18, 2010; Logan Mock-Bunting / Getty Images
Brianna Hudson, 5, cries as she hugs her father, Sgt. Amos Hudson, of the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, at Pope Air Force Base March 16 near Fort Bragg, N.C. Hudson had just returned from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.
MSNBC Pictures of the Week March 25-April 1; Gary Kazanjian / AP
Jake Locke runs up to see his father Thomas, a fighter pilot who returned to the Naval Air Station in Lemoore, Calif., on March 25 after eight months aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier. Thomas Locke also saw a new family member: a grandson born while he was on deployment.
A woman expresses frusteration after 153 miners in China become trapped after a flood. More than 100 miners were rescued April 5 after being trapped for 8 days.