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Human Smiles: Expression of Emotion or Communication Gesture?
Unformatted Document Text:  Kurylo & Frank Smiles and Communication 5 accurately identified six emotional states: happiness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise, and sadness (Ekman & Friesen, 1971; Izard, 1971; Tomkins & McCarter, 1964). With this universal-biological research came criticism from those who warned that reliance on educated western-media-exposed populations could account for why participants were aware of the intercultural meanings of these expressions (Birdwhistell, 1970; Mead, 1975). In response to previous criticisms like these, Ekman, Sorenson and Friesen (1969) extended research on universality of emotional expression to include societies that were visually isolated from western cultures by conducting studies involving the Sadong of Borneo and the Fore in New Guinea. These populations had minimal, if any, contact with westerners and, presumably could not have learned the meanings of the facial expressions used in the study from personal contact or through the media, and yet they performed similarly to western groups (Ekman, Sorenson, & Friesen, 1969). This finding has since been replicated in other western and non-western cultures (Ekman et al, 1987). Although this methodology was criticized because it relied on the forced-choice response method for judging facial expressions - which may have artificially produced agreement on which expression was matched with which emotion (Russell, 1994) - ensuing work found that individuals agree on which emotion represents which facial expression when different methods are used, such as a free-response (Boucher & Carlson, 1980; Haidt & Keltner, 1999; Izard, 1994, Rosenberg & Ekman, 1994), or when a forced- choice format is modified by the addition of a “none” option (Frank & Stennett, 2001).

Authors: Kurylo, Anastacia. and Frank, Mark.
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background image
Kurylo & Frank
Smiles and Communication
5
accurately identified six emotional states: happiness, anger, disgust, fear, surprise, and
sadness (Ekman & Friesen, 1971; Izard, 1971; Tomkins & McCarter, 1964).
With this universal-biological research came criticism from those who warned
that reliance on educated western-media-exposed populations could account for why
participants were aware of the intercultural meanings of these expressions (Birdwhistell,
1970; Mead, 1975). In response to previous criticisms like these, Ekman, Sorenson and
Friesen (1969) extended research on universality of emotional expression to include
societies that were visually isolated from western cultures by conducting studies
involving the Sadong of Borneo and the Fore in New Guinea. These populations had
minimal, if any, contact with westerners and, presumably could not have learned the
meanings of the facial expressions used in the study from personal contact or through the
media, and yet they performed similarly to western groups (Ekman, Sorenson, & Friesen,
1969). This finding has since been replicated in other western and non-western cultures
(Ekman et al, 1987).
Although this methodology was criticized because it relied on the forced-choice
response method for judging facial expressions - which may have artificially produced
agreement on which expression was matched with which emotion (Russell, 1994) -
ensuing work found that individuals agree on which emotion represents which facial
expression when different methods are used, such as a free-response (Boucher & Carlson,
1980; Haidt & Keltner, 1999; Izard, 1994, Rosenberg & Ekman, 1994), or when a forced-
choice format is modified by the addition of a “none” option (Frank & Stennett, 2001).


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