Universality reconsidered: Diversity in making meaning of facial expressions
It has long been claimed that certain facial movements are universally perceived as emotional expressions. The critical tests of this Universality Thesis (UT) were conducted between 1969 and 1975 in small-scale societies in the Pacific using confirmation-based research methods. New studies conducted since 2008 have examine a wider sample of small-scale societies, including on the African and South American continents. They used more discovery-based research methods, providing an important opportunity for reevaluating the universality thesis. These new studies reveal diversity, rather than uniformity, in how perceivers make sense of facial movements, calling the universality thesis into doubt. Instead, they support a perceiver-constructed account of emotion perception that is consistent with the broader literature on perception.
open access article
Citation : Gendron, M., Crivelli, C., and Barrett, L. F. (2018) Universality reconsidered: Diversity in making meaning of facial expressions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27 (4), pp. 211-219
Research Institute : Institute for Psychological Science
Peer Reviewed : Yes