It is common opinion among psychologists that the basic emotions expressed facially Human Being in the same way in all individuals. There’s even a line in criminology scientific research aimed at getting notice when a suspect is lying, or has made or plans to do something wrong, by detecting on his face of “micro expressions” spontaneous, which can be missed by human observers, but ultra detailed automatic processing of facial images could detect.

lisa feldman barrett

However, this assumption that the basic emotions expressed facially Human Being in the same way everyone could be wrong, according to psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett of Northeastern University and Massachusetts General Hospital, both institutions in the United States. She disagrees with this school of thought and presented his arguments on this in an article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.

“What I decided to do in this article is to remind readers of the evidence against the idea that certain emotions are biologically basic, such as people frown when they are just angry, or make a face when they are determined only sad,” says Barrett.

According to advocates of the universality of the expressions, certain movements of facial muscles evolved to express certain mental states and prepare the body to react to certain situations stereotyped way. For example, open the eyes when you are afraid might help you learn more about what threatens us, and also tell the people close to something dangerous is happening.

However, Barrett, and some other scientists believe that emotional expressions are innate signals are expressed in the face automatically.

Some scientists have proposed that emotions regulate the physical response to a given situation. However, Barrett argues that there is evidence that, for example, some emotion used to produce the same physical changes each time it is experienced. “It varies much what people do and what their bodies and faces to experience anger, sadness or fear,” argues the researcher.

Textbooks for introductory psychology say there are about seven (five to nine) biologically basic emotions generated each some specific facial expression in the world anyone can recognize. However, the evidence does not support Barrett wields that assumption. She believes that instead of asserting that all emotions can be categorized into a few broad categories, and that everyone expresses the same way, psychologists should work to better understand how changes in the expression of emotions between people.

This debate is not purely academic. In recent years there has been a boom in the development of techniques for the recognition of subtle facial expressions that allow guards and security personnel usually detect that someone is about to commit a crime. But Barrett believes that these techniques can lead to too many mistakes, and end up doing more harm than good. “There is considerable evidence that there is no clear identifying feature for fear, anger or sadness that can be detected in another person. If you want to improve their accuracy to read an emotion in another person, you must also take into account the context”.