Essay on The Universal Expressions of Emotion

Essay on The Universal Expressions of Emotion

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This literature review will aim to discuss the universality of facial expressions of emotion drawing up points from a biological social and psychological view. Focusing on the debate of whether universal facial expressions of emotion exist through the biological perspective and if they don’t through a social perspective. As a result the biological and social perspective will be both merged to clarify the presence of certain universal expressions or emotion and the absence of others. Thus touching upon Charles Darwin’s theory, an anthropological cultural perspective, studies with blind children, and a study on mirco-expression and corpse muscles and finally language as a limitation. Since Facial expressions are the communication of emotion. As well as emotional images stimulate facial expressions.
Firstly, the universality of emotion from a biological perspective will be discussed. Charles Darwin an evolutionary theorist, claimed that all human facial expressions are result of evolutionary means of survival for example an expression of anger would indicate a defensive state to warn off predators. Whereas a disgusted facial expression may be indicator of rotten food, something poisonous or pugnacious or unsuitable for consumption. It is important to note that Darwin suggested the relationship between communication and facial expressions (, 2014). This point also further explains the usefulness of facial expressions from psychological in terms of learning behaviour. An infant or another member of the group, would interpret that facial expression as disgust and realized that what was consumed is not suitable for digestion and should therefore be avoided.
Yet controversially, from a social point of view many exp...

... middle of paper ...

... an in-group advantage in emotion recognition?. American Psychological Association. (2014). Theories of emotion and emotional expression - the psychology of emotion. [online] Retrieved from: [Accessed: 13 Feb 2014].
Gleitman, H., Reisberg, D., Gross, J. & Costa, R. C. (2009). Psicologia. Porto Alegre: Artmed.
Jack, R. E., Blais, C., Scheepers, C., Schyns, P. G. & Caldara, R. (2009). Cultural confusions show that facial expressions are not universal. Current Biology, 19 (18), pp. 1543--1548.
Porter, S. & Ten Brinke, L. (2008). Reading between the lies identifying concealed and falsified emotions in universal facial expressions. Psychological Science, 19 (5), pp. 508--514.
Waller, B. M., Cray Jr, J. J. & Burrows, A. M. (2008). Selection for universal facial emotion. Emotion, 8 (3), p. 435.

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