Universality Revisited

Emotion Review 5 (1):8-15 (2013)
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Evidence does not support the claim that observers universally recognize basic emotions from signals on the face. The percentage of observers who matched the face with the predicted emotion (matching score) is not universal, but varies with culture and language. Matching scores are also inflated by the commonly used methods: within-subject design; posed, exaggerated facial expressions (devoid of context); multiple examples of each type of expression; and a response format that funnels a variety of interpretations into one word specified by the experimenter. Without these methodological aids, matching scores are modest and subject to various explanations



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James Russell
Trent University