I can See It All Over Your Face

Cole Sandel and Robbie Love
Think of something funny…
Now think about the expression on your face.
…Hopefully you smiled, or at least experienced a
change in facial expression.
Now, if you were raised in a different culture, do
you think your facial expression would be the same?
Paul Ekman and Will(?) Friesen
Both researchers in areas of emotion.
Researched individuals in north and south America
and found that we all share types of facial
So, to test their hypothesis, they had to find an area
that hadn’t been exposed to mass media, which is
full of exemplary facial expressions. People
observe the media and through observational
learning they learn how to react to good/bad
Background on the Subjects
The two researchers went to the Southeast
Highlands of New Guinea to find subjects. These
people (The South Fore tribe) existed in a “Stone
Age Society.”
189 adults and 130 children were chosen to
participate out of the Southern Fore population.
For comparison, there were 23 adults who had had
great exposure to Western society. They had
watched movies, lived in settlements and attended
missionary schools.
The Actual Experiment
The researchers found that presenting the subjects
with photographs showing a certain emotion would
have the most accurate response.
The subjects were told a story, then they were told
to select which picture best described the tone of
the story.
Every aspect of the photographs/stories was/were
regulated to ensure the best results (Dozens of
experts confirmed
This is only the adults’ results,
but you can see that the
percentage that got the answer
right was pretty high.
Comparisons were made
between westernized and nonWesternized adults. No
differences were found.
Note: Not all subjects were
exposed to every emotion and
sometimes subjects were
exposed to the same emotion
more than once.
Ekman and Friesan inferred that our facial
expressions are literally hard-wired into our brain
at birth.
This could also be applied to the area of deception.
Through Freisan’s experiments we’ve found that the
face does not “leak” as much information about
truth/lies as the human body itself.