As per a new report facial expression not only reveals human expression but our intentions as well. The study states that facial expressions are a result of our intentions and not our feelings. The study was carried out at the Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences at UC Santa Barbara by an associate professor doing innovative research on facial expressions.
The study has been published in the journal trends in cognitive sciences and debunks only his older research findings as a clinical psychologist. As per the researchers we as humans relate to a smiling face as happy and a sad face expressions with unhappiness or sadness but the case actually is not that. Even a monkey at the zoo does smile at the visitors but it’s just about giving that submissive threat grimace.
He further goes on to state though humans and animals are different many of the facial displays function in similar ways are act as tools of social negotiation. One of his research about Trobrian Islanders in Papua New Guinea still think about emotions while using facial expressions and are still untainted by Western traditions. The research found that what earlier was known to be the face of fear for these Trobiranders apparently is a display of threat with the sole objective of frightening the opponent or opponents to be submissive.
While in the 1960’s researchers did relate certain expressions to emotions but in newer studies there has been very little or no evidence about the relationship between both. For example, angry face might not mean that we are angry it could signal constipation to say the least or frustration or hurtfulness. In his earlier studies he has depicted that when humans imagine to be in certain situations be it fun or scary ones, happy or irritating ones, we give more expressions than when we actually face those situations alone in reality. Also, when we watch funny videos alone we might not react as much as we do when we are watching the same video with friends.
The researcher Fridlund is currently working on the lines of his earlier research which has written about in his book titled ‘Human Facial Expression: An Evolutionary View’ that was published in 1994.