Are the Facial Expressions We Use Universal?

The movement of facial muscles alongside distinct patterns of movement-thought attribute to the composition of facial expressions. Further, these distinct patterns create at least 5 discrete, basic emotions – anger, happiness, disgust, sadness, and fear. For centuries, facial expression have been a form of unspoken communication. They have the ability to reflect a person’s momentary emotional state, giving you the opportunity to modify your behaviour accordingly. What passes for debate, however, is whether these expressions are understood on a universal level. Components of cultural influence seem to divide the opinions of academics.

Cognitive Science specialist Dr Megan Willis joined us to talk more on this issue.

Produced by Nicole Alevras

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