Cultural Expression of Feelings

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The face is the reserve of emotion. A smile implies happiness, a frown signifies anger or sadness, and a quick rolling of the eyes indicates someone is annoyed. What one is thinking or feeling can be clearly displayed in one’s facial expressions. Paul Ekman decided to study people’s facial expressions, down to the micro expressions that flash across the face and those are what give one away. He developed the facial action coding system (FACS) after many years of researching how people’s facial expressions reveal their inner emotions (Blink 204). He has even worked with Gottman and his “Love Lab” and the FACS has helped him to predict the longevity of certain relationships. While some people believe that their true feelings are not reflected by their facial expressions, they are unaware that a simple change in emotions is displayed on their face, revealing their true feelings. Emotions simply cannot be hidden, because they are clearly displayed on the face.

There are many cultures in the world, and there are many different ways to show feelings for people of different cultures as well. Ekman has been able to identify certain group’s ways of life by their facial expressions. He conducted an experiment using pictures of members of the South Fore tribe who were peaceful and friendly, and Kukukuku tribe in Papua New Guinea who were hostile and murderous(Blink,200). He then proceeded to create a slide show editing out any identifying context and presented these pictures to Silvan Tomkins (his teacher) and afterwards Tomkins was able to identify the ways of life for these two tribes accurately (Blink,200). This helped him realize that he must unmask the face to identify how people truly feel. So he pursued this with many years of resear...

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... world go? The FACS allows civilization to function successfully and progress. It saves innocent lives in society and also saves lives of people who need help. One would never suspect that they would deceive themselves, proving one is their worst enemy.

Word count: 1,344

Work Cited

• “Description of Facial Action Coding System(FACS)” Human Facen.p.n.d.3/1/2010

• Ekman, Paul. Emotions Revealed. New York: Times Books, 2003. Print.

• - - -. Telling Lies: clues to deceit in the marketplace, politics, and marriage. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.: New York, 2001. Print.

• “Facial Expressions Not Universal.”Chinese National Geographyn.p2010.3/4/2010

• Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink. New York: Back Bay Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2005.Print.
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