Biology and Philosophy 37 (2):1-20 (2022)

Can we read emotions in faces? Many studies suggest that we can, yet skeptics contend that these studies employ methods that unwittingly help subjects in matching faces with emotions. Some studies present subjects with posed faces, which may be more exaggerated than spontaneous ones. And some studies provide subjects with a list of emotion words to choose from, which forces them to interpret faces in specific emotion terms. I argue that the skeptics’ challenge rests on a false assumption: that once subjects leave the lab, they no longer receive help in matching faces with emotions. I contend that people receive as much help in the wild as they do in the lab. People unconsciously amplify their spontaneous expressions in the presence of others, thereby making them easier to read. And people teach children to interpret faces in the same specific emotion terms found in the experimenters’ word lists. I argue that we are good at readings emotions in faces because we can normally count on a little help from our friends.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-022-09842-5
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,130
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Theory of Moral Sentiments.Adam Smith - 1759 - Dover Publications.
An Argument for Basic Emotions.Paul Ekman - 1992 - Cognition and Emotion 6 (3-4):169-200.

View all 27 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Een blik vanuit de marge.Senne Nout & Katrine Smiet - 2017 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 109 (1):63-83.
A Short Primer on Situated Cognition.Philip Robbins & Murat Aydede - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 3--10.


Added to PP index

Total views
2 ( #1,447,775 of 2,506,489 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #277,244 of 2,506,489 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes