Facial Expressions of Emotion: MythBuster Style
This blog is perfect for the novice new to our products & blog as well as a great refresher for our loyal blog readers! Click on all of the links to find out info or refresh your knowledge on research and micro facial expressions.
A recent MythBuster episode focused on the 7 basic facial expressions of emotion by revealing only the eyes and had a battle between the sexes.
Science has proven that there are 7 basic emotions that are universal across all people of all cultures.
They are: Anger, Contempt, Fear, Sadness, Surprise, Disgust, and Happiness
Research has documented that all people – regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender or religion – express these emotions in the face in exactly the same ways.
When reading body language, knowing how to detect micro facial expressions is very beneficial especially when trying to delineate the veracity of a person’s words in combination with their body language.
How does one delineate between these basic facial expressions of emotion?
There are a few things to take into account and if you are very well versed in detecting facial expressions, especially micro facial expressions, and then you can detect all of these at once or individually:
- eyebrow movement
- lip/ jaw pursing/tightening
- eye lid movement (lifted up or down)
- bridge of the nose movement
Many professionals use the FACS coding system to determine the specific muscles that are moving with each facial expression of emotion. The system has corresponding AUs (action units) to label each muscle that moves, along with it’s intensity.
The short MythBusters video below shows how difficult it can be to determine what facial expression delineates what emotion especially when viewing ONLY the eyes.
The task becomes even more difficult when these expressions are flashing on and off the face in fractions of a second such as in real world interactions.