Facial Expressions Connect The World

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Facial expressions play a crucial role when expressing one's emotions or thoughts. People tend to smile or laugh to express their happiness, frown or cry to express their sadness, scowl to express their anger, and so forth. Like this, some emotions can be recognized by almost the same facial expressions of most people in the world regardless of their cultural diversities, growth backgrounds, and/or disabilities.

The claim that some primary emotions are cross-culturally universal has made by Paul Ekman, a psychologist who studies emotions and the facial expressions related to them. Those primary emotions are said to be happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear, and contempt. The reason why they are called "primary" is because they are based emotions, which means that other emotions arise from them. Ekman and his colleagues identified six of these seven primary emotions.

Since we all know which facial expression indicates which emotions, feelings, and sometimes even thoughts, it has been an important mode of communication. This mode of communication is especially useful when one is a mute or when one is trying to express his or her emotions to a foreigner. Like this, since facial expressions play such a big role in human society, I want to know if there is one that might display different emotion(s) in different cultures, societies, or countries so that I don't give anyone a wrong expression by mistake.

Here is a youtube video clip of Dr. David Matsumoto of San Francisco State, researching on
Science in Action: Facial Expressions

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There aren't a lot of facial expressions that are culturally different, but gestures are very culturally specific. There are some funny cases of mistakes in gestures (you might search for the a-ok gesture in South America for a funny presidential example). Nice post.

There aren't a lot of facial expressions that are culturally different, but gestures are very culturally specific. There are some funny cases of mistakes in gestures (you might search for the a-ok gesture in South America for a funny presidential example). Nice post.

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