Are Facial Expressions Universal? Essay

Are Facial Expressions Universal? Essay

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It has happened to all of us at some point in our lives. You procrastinated for too long and didn't get time to do an important project. You've missed a deadline for that newspaper article that was supposed to be on the front page. You forgot your brother’s birthday party. You know that the people that you let down are not going to be happy. They could also possibly be mad. The next time you see them, they don’t immediately call you out on it but you can tell from their faces that they are angry. But how can you tell this? How can you really tell if someone is angry, upset, or happy? The answer is that from a young age, human beings have learned how to tell someone’s emotional being from his or her facial expressions. Now here is the big question. Are facial expressions universal or cultural? In other words, are they do all cultures and people express emotions on their face the same way or does each culture or ethnicity have its distinct characteristics?
Have you ever looked and someone and you thought to yourself, “That person must be having a bad day.” or “Hey, you look really happy!” This happens on an everyday basis. So, what caused you to think this way? What is happening is you are reading their facial expression. These facial expressions are the muscles in our faces that are working together. Human faces are a main component to conveying a person’s emotional state. Facial expressions are a form of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal communication is the process of communication through sending and receiving wordless cues between people. There are always key points of the facial expression that would give away which emotion the human is feeling. For example, if someone is caught off guard, they may scream and their eyes may ...

... middle of paper ...

...see people jumping up and down, going ecstatic. You would instantly know that they were all feeling happy. If you can realize this, you can realize most other situations.

Works Cited

CiN.p.: American Psychological Association, 1994. American Psychological Association. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. . tations

N.p.: Scholarpedia, 2008. Web. 20 Mar. 2014.
Rinn, William E. (1984). "The Neuropsychology of Facial Expression: A Review of the Neurological and Psychological Mechanisms for Producing Facial Expressions". Psychological Bulletin (American Psychological Association, Inc.) 95 (1): 52–77.

Ekman, Paul. 16th ed. San Fransisco: Paul Ekman, n.d. Web. 20 Mar. 2014. .

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