Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 159–168

A new pan-cultural facial expression of emotion

  • Paul Ekman
  • Wallace V. Friesen

DOI: 10.1007/BF00992253

Cite this article as:
Ekman, P. & Friesen, W.V. Motiv Emot (1986) 10: 159. doi:10.1007/BF00992253


We obtained the first evidence of a facial expression unique to contempt. Contrary to our prediction, this contempt expression was not culture-specific but was recognized by people in Estonia S.S.R., Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Scotland, Turkey, the United States, and West Sumatra. Pan-cultural agreement about the contempt expression was as high as has been found previously for other emotions.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Ekman
    • 1
  • Wallace V. Friesen
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Interaction LaboratoryUniversity of California, San FranciscoSan Francisco

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