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Evidence for the Universality of Facial Expressions of Emotion

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Understanding Facial Expressions in Communication

Abstract

The face is the most representative channel of nonverbal behaviors, and it is the channel most studied by scientists. Studies on face and facial expression have their roots in Darwin (The expression of emotion in man and animals. Oxford University Press, New York, 1872) seminal work that suggested that emotions are biologically innate and evolutionarily adaptive and that facial expressions evolved as a universal skill in all humans. The face is a channel that can produce both involuntary reactions and voluntary reactions. This chapter will introduce facial expressions as one of the primary nonverbal channels that express universal emotions and present scientific evidence for the universality of facial expressions of emotion, including studies of humans across cultures, blind individuals, twins and families, infants, and nonhuman primates. In addition, cultural display rules that can explain cultural variations in facial expressions of emotions across cultures are introduced.

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Hwang, H., Matsumoto, D. (2015). Evidence for the Universality of Facial Expressions of Emotion. In: Mandal, M., Awasthi, A. (eds) Understanding Facial Expressions in Communication. Springer, New Delhi. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-81-322-1934-7_3

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