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. (shrink)
Izard (2010) did not seek a descriptive definition of emotion—one that describes the concept as it is used by ordinary folk. Instead, he surveyed scientists’ prescriptive definitions—ones that prescribe how the concept should be used in theories of emotion. That survey showed a lack of agreement today and thus raised doubts about emotion as a useful scientific concept.
This article explores the idea that Core Affect provides the emotional quality to any conscious state. Core Affect is the neurophysiological state always accessible as simply feeling good or bad, energized or enervated, even if it is not always the focus of attention. Core Affect, alone or more typically combined with other psychological processes, is found in the experiences of feeling, mood and emotion, including the subjective experiences of fear, anger and other so-called basic emotions which are commonly thought to (...) be raw, primitive, and universal. (shrink)
Six studies tested the hypothesis that being reminded of our animal nature makes us feel disgust. Participants from three cultural groups indicated the intensity of their disgust reactions to pleasant and unpleasant animal reminder stories and pictures as well as to a statement directly reminding them of their animal nature. Findings did not support the hypothesis: Pleasant animal reminders reminded respondents of their animal nature, but were not disgusting. The direct reminder of our animal nature was not disgusting. There was (...) no significant correlation between disgust and being reminded of animal nature for disgusting animal reminders. Thus, some disgusting events remind us of our animal nature, but they are not disgusting because they remind us of our animal nature. Animal reminders per se are not disgusting. (shrink)
Comment on an article by Peter Zachar An account of emotion must include categories and dimensions. Categories because humans categorize reality, and a person's categorization of their own state influences aspects of that state. Dimensions because humans are always in some state of Core Affect, which varies by degree along dimensions of valence and activation . In Psychological Construction, Core Affect and a host of other "components" are separate on-going processes, always in some pattern. Occasionally the pattern resembles a prototype (...) of a category of emotion sufficiently to count as an instance of that category. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
That facial expressions are universal emotion signals has been supported by observers agreeing on the emotion mimed by actors. We show that actors can mime a diverse range of states: emotions, cognitions, physical states, and actions. English, Hindi, and Malayalam speakers viewed 25 video clips and indicated the state conveyed. Within each language, at least 23 of the 25 clips were recognised above chance and base rate. Facial expressions of emotions are not special in their recognisability, and it is miming (...) that may be the universal human ability. (shrink)
Do different languages have a translation for the English word disgust that labels the same underlying concept? If not, the English word might label a culture-specific concept. Four studies compared disgust to its common translation in Hindi and in Malayalam by examining two components of the concept thought of as a script: causal antecedent and facial expression. The English word was used to refer to reactions to both unclean substances and moral violations; Hindi and Malayalam translations referred mainly to moral (...) violations. Speakers of all three languages associated different facial expressions to unclean substances and moral violations. Words for disgust in the three languages failed a test of translation equivalence. (shrink)