Do you think the young woman is surprised? You may be wrong. A facial expression of emotion depends not only on the face itself, but also the context in which the expression is situated. Emotions are much more complex entities than colors and thus can lead to even more confusion. Our perception of emotional expressions is related not only to the physical properties of a face, but also to a bunch of other factors affecting both the percipient for example, a person's past experience, cultural background, or individual expectations and the situation itself the context.
Frontiers | How Facial Expressions of Emotion Affect Distance Perception | Psychology
Different theories propose that mimicry of emotional expressions facial or otherwise mechanistically underlies, or at least facilitates, these swift adaptive reactions. The majority of research has focused on facial actions as expressions of emotion. However, the fact that emotions are not just expressed by facial muscles alone is often still ignored in emotion perception research. In this article, I therefore argue for a broader exploration of emotion signals from sources beyond the face muscles that are more automatic and difficult to control. Recently, more research is emerging about the mimicry of these subtle affective signals including pupil-mimicry.
Eighteen undergraduates nine male and nine female participated in the study. Six facial expressions were chosen on the basis of degree of threat—anger, hate threatening expressions , shame, surprise neutral expressions , pleasure, and joy safe expressions. Each facial expression was presented on a tablet PC held by an assistant covered by a black drape who stood 1, 2, or 3 m away from participants.
The most notable research into the topic came from psychologist Paul Ekman, who pioneered research into emotion recognition in the s. His team of researchers provided their test subjects with photos of faces showing different emotional expressions. The test subjects then had to define the emotional states they saw in each photo, based on a predetermined list of possible emotions they had seen prior. Through these studies, Ekman found a high agreement across members of Western and Eastern cultures when it came to selecting emotional labels that corresponded with facial expressions.