Facial Feedback

| No Comments

This semester in Psychology, we have learned about countless different theories, some of which have stuck with me, and some of which haven't. Five years from now, I think there is one theory in particular that I will remember. This theory is the facial feedback hypothesis, just because of the experiment we did earlier this year.
One of the first experiments we did this year was the cartoon study. I didn't think much of it; in fact I thought it was pretty dumb when I had to hold a pencil in my mouth. I had no idea why I was being forced to shove a pencil in my mouth and hold it together with my teeth, and how it had anything to do with humor. The following image shows a demonstration of this exercise.
When I arrived at my discussion section, we were told to share our results within our teams. As we discussed our scores, it was determined that our facial expression affected how funny we thought the cartoons were. According to the facial feedback hypothesis, the blood vessels in our face feed back temperature information in the brain, which affects our emotions.
I think in five years I will remember this theory because of how I felt when I first figured it out. First I was overwhelmed with surprise, then shock, then genuine embarrassment that I didn't realize it myself. It was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced, and gave me true insight into what psychology really is.
I also think that this theory will stick with me because of the thoughts I have had regarding the future. Will smiling more make me a happier person? Allison Nelson addresses this in her article, and this is definitely something that I will continue to think about even when the semester is over. Also, the following video shows some of the funny faces that come to mind when thinking of facial expressions. Will these have an impact on how I feel, or is this just a theory?

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by laorr001 published on December 4, 2011 9:31 PM.

Classical Conditioning was the previous entry in this blog.

Cognitive Biases in Everyday Life is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.