Facial Expression and Gesture - Cal Poly Pomona

Facial Expression and Gesture Dr. Nancy Alvarado Proximity Closeness, orientation toward others, motion, all communicate social information. Even geometric objects look social when they behave socially (e.g., cartoons). Autistic children and adults lack this information, with consequent social deficits

https://info.med.yale.edu/chldstdy/neuroimg/sat_movies.htm In Group/Out Group Knowledge of proper gesture and proxemics signals inclusion in a social group. Cross-cultural differences produce a feeling of discomfort Abnormal behavior also produces discomfort and exclusion. Universals vs Culture

Gestures vary widely across cultures, with unfortunate consequences. Bushs satanic gesture Certain facial expressions seem to be universal cross-culturally: Smiles Ekman & Friesens basic emotions

Evolution and Expression Darwins theory of emotional expression. Dogs and other species with dominance hierarchy use displays of aggression. Dominance displays are different than predatory or survival-related displays. Dogs Primates

Encoding vs Decoding A display tends to evolve along with the ability to interpret or understand that display. Signals of danger are useless without the ability to know what they mean. Decoding and attribution are not the same

thing. Reading Body Language Faces are not readouts of emotion or any other internal state. People can control their expression. People can portray false expressions. Deception protects internal privacy in a social world. Deception makes social interaction

smoother. Nurses Study Each trial includes: One person looking at a gross amputation film but lying about it. One person looking at pretty scenery and telling the truth about it.

Your job is to tell which is which. For each segment indicate T or F (if lying). Most People Cant Catch a Lie The cues that signal lying are not those people think go with lying. They are NOT: Shifty eyes (averted gaze) Nervousness or hesitation

Look for inconsistencies, thinking where no thought is required, micro-expressions. Expression Varies Across Cultures How much expression is considered appropriate varies: By sex (females more, males less) By social class (Woloff griots, Italian professional mourners, upper vs lower class

British and American) By culture (Japanese forms of address, hotheaded Latin cultures) Expression and Collectivism Homogeneous, high-density, collectivist cultures emphasize social cohesion. Conformity is rewarded Shame is expressed Heterogeneous, competitive, individualist

cultures emphasize individuality. Expressivity is rewarded Guilt is expressed (personal responsibility) How Expression Regulates Affect Emotion is contagious Depressed people feel better, non-depressed feel worse after an interaction.

Expression affects internal subjective experience facial feedback. Smile in order to feel better. Venting intensifies, not decreases affect.

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