Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 337–351 | Cite as

Canadian, Greek, and Japanese freely produced emotion labels for facial expressions

  • James A. Russell
  • Naoto Suzuki
  • Noriko Ishida


Observers in Canada (n=50), Greece (n=38), and Japan (n=50) were shown seven of Matsumoto and Ekman's (1988) photographs reported to show universally recognizable facial expressions of basic emotions. Observers were asked to name the emotion expressed with any single emotion label they wanted. Across cultures, recognition (percentage of observers agreeing with prediction) was high (>80%) for thehappy expression (indicating that observers understood the task), low for thecontempt expression (0 to 2%), and intermediate for the others (14 to 80% forsurprise, sadness, anger, disgust, andfear). Recognition for some facial expressions varied with the culture of the observer: For example, recognition of thefear expression was moderate to high in the two Western samples (62 to 87%) but low in the Japanese (14%); indeed, the Japanese modal response wassurprise rather thanfear.


Social Psychology Facial Expression Modal Response Basic Emotion Emotion Label 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • James A. Russell
    • 1
  • Naoto Suzuki
    • 2
  • Noriko Ishida
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Doshisha UniversityJapan

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