Are Facial Display Of Emotions Important

With the help of our facial muscles we can display a variety of emotions like anger , confusion, happiness , sadness , surprise , frustration , fear ,desire ,contempt , glare ,excitement etc. Facial display of emotions help in communicating ones mood to other individuals. A frown can mean confusion or discontent; a pout can mean that one is not happy; a long face suggests sadness; raised eyebrows indicate inquisitiveness etc .Facial display of emotion is one of the most popular ways of communicating nonverbally. 

Facial expressions are used for facial display of emotions. They can be used to convey seven different emotions recognized universally - happiness, anger, contempt, sadness, fear, disgust and surprise. Although these facial emotions are common all over the world, in all countries, cultures and communities; the extent of emotion interpreted from the same facial expression in different countries are different. A frown can mean a little displeasure in one culture and extreme anger in another, so correctly interpreting the facial display of emotions from one culture to another is very important .One facial emotion can have a different meaning for a member of the same community and a different for an outsider.
Researches have concluded that thought the extent of emotion being imparted by a particular facial emotion can vary from one culture to another; the facial emotions and their interpretation are fundamentally same all over the world. The meaning of a facial expression changes from situation to situation and from person to person as well. A teacher smiling down on a student means that the teacher approves of the child whereas the same teacher smiling at another teacher means greeting. Also every facial display of emotion has different varieties and forms depending upon the extent of emotion intending to be imparted. A slight smile is a shy smile; a one sided smile is a mocking smile and an ear to ear smile is a delightful smile.
Furthermore some facial expressions are considered as acceptable in some places and other facial emotions are unacceptable in the same place. Like for example – smiling at strangers is considered normal in America and frowning at strangers is considered as uncivil, rude and even suspicious; whereas in Russia smiling at strangers is considered as suspicious and frowning at smiling strangers is completely normal behavior. In many Asian countries, people smile to hide their pain or smile even if they are crying to express helplessness or their familiarity with suffering. In fact the facial expression of the people living in a country becomes a deciding feature regarding whether the nations outlook is friendly, suspicious or unfriendly. Americans think that Russians smile rarely, so they are not that friendly whereas Russians think that Americans smile without any reason.
As a result of the varied facial expressions of various cultures, many times people of one culture misjudge the people of other culture based on their facial display of emotion. Problems because of varied facial expression is continuously faced by teachers teaching in American universities .As America is considered as the melting pot of people from around the world, every class there has students from all over the world and the teachers have difficulty in understanding if the students from different countries are enjoying the class or not because of many student’s apparent lack of any facial display of emotion. So it’s important to be flexible to the facial expression of people from different places as one might make wrong assumptions and incorrectly judge them. In many cultures , people are used to displaying a particular facial emotion frequently; Americans smile a lot , Russians are reserved , most Islamic people tend to frown a lot , Japanese tend to give blank facial expressions and French and Spanish people tend to display surprised or excited facial emotion. Mostly it’s out of habit, but also sometimes reflects their attitude.
Facial display of emotions is a great way to exhibit ones attitude towards life and things in general. People with a frown on their face are usually the ones with a negative attitude and are always complaining and frustrated; those with a smiling face are usually very optimistic and content. They are used for detecting lies many times but the fact remains that facial display of emotions can also be deceiving so cannot always be relied upon.

Top Comments

Yup, that slhoud defo do the trick!
by Florence     19-Feb-2012

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