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A new pan-cultural facial expression of emotion

Abstract

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.

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We are grateful to our collaborators, Anthony Chan, Karl Heider, Rainer Krause, Rolf Kuschel, Ayhan LeCompte, Tom Pitcairn, Pio Ricci-Bitti, Klaus Scherer, Masatoshi Tomita, Athanase Tzavaras, Arnold Upmeyer, and Jaan Valsiner; to Maureen O'Sullivan for comments on this report. Paul Ekman's work is supported by a Research Scientist Award (MH 06092) from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Ekman, P., Friesen, W.V. A new pan-cultural facial expression of emotion. Motiv Emot 10, 159–168 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992253

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00992253

Keywords

  • Social Psychology
  • Facial Expression
  • Contempt Expression