Facial Expressions Differ Universally; New Study Shows

First Posted: Oct 19, 2016 05:40 AM EDT

Science is indeed a line of discoveries and breakthrough. Who would have thought that human facial expression can have a difference? A new study shows how the facial expression is not universal.

A team of researchers from the United States and Spain conducted a research and discovered evidence that human facial expressions are not the same as many people thought. The study was published in a paper entitled Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the paper, they show how they carried out facial recognition studies on native people residing in New Guinea and the difference experts found in one facial expression from the majority of people around the world.

In the study, four of the research team namely Carlos Crivelli, James Russell, José-Miguel Fernández-Dolsa and Sergio Jarillo went to the island of Trobriand off the coast of Papua New Guinea to live with the group of people. The culture in which the researcher lived managed to exist without the interaction from the others for hundreds it thousands of years.

Before the researchers tested the group of people right away, they first engage themselves in the culture by learning the language and their everyday routine. After they have adjusted, they then asked the young people to gather and sit down. They then asked the young people to look at the images of people with different facial expressions, according to IFL Science

The result of the study found that the Trobrianders has the same interpretation the same way the westerns looked at the facial expressions. However, there was one photo that differs their interpretation. When the experts showed them wide-eyed people with mouth slightly open, they viewed is as threatening while the westerns commonly associate it with fear.

The research team indicates that their findings suggest that the human facial expressions are not entirely as universal as what most commonly would know. They also acknowledge that they cannot tell whether the contrast in the interpretation was due to the influence on how does the group interprets the certain emotion or whether they feel something different while looking at the images, according to Medical Xpress.

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