Facial expression gateway to human emotions?

Interacting with people is always a game of reading cues and volleying back. We think a smile conveys happiness, so we offer a smile in return and a frown shows sadness, and maybe we attempt to cheer that person up.

But a new research says that we should never trust a person’s face to define their emotions.

A team of researchers from US analyzed the kinetics of muscle movement in the human face and compared those muscle movements with a person’s emotions. They found that attempts to detect emotions based on a person’s facial expressions were almost always wrong.

“Everyone makes different facial expressions based on context and cultural background. It’s important to realize that not everyone who smiles is happy and not everyone who is happy smiles. People smile out of an obligation to the social norms. They are entitled to put on a smile for the rest of the world.” Martinez said.

“Some claim they can detect whether someone is guilty of a crime or not with their expressions. But what our research showed is that those claims are complete baloney. There’s no way you can determine those things” he adds.

After analyzing data about facial expressions and emotion, the research team concluded that it takes more than expressions to correctly detect emotion.

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