Facial expressions ‘not global’

This is interesting, considering that TSA agents are being trained to evaluate people’s intentions from their facial expressions.

From The BBC:

East Asian participants in the study focused mostly on the eyes, but those from the West scanned the whole face.

In the research carried out by a team from Glasgow University, East Asian observers found it more difficult to distinguish some facial expressions.

The work published in Current Biology journal challenges the idea facial expressions are universally understood.

In the study, East Asians were more likely than Westerners to read the expression for “fear” as “surprise”, and “disgust” as “anger”.

The researchers say the confusion arises because people from different cultural groups observe different parts of the face when interpreting expression.

Read the rest:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8199951.stm

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