Facial expressions 'not global' 面部表情并非“全球通用”
文章来源:未知 文章作者:meng 发布时间:2009-08-15 03:09 字体: [ ]  进入论坛

A new study suggests that people from different cultures read facial expressions differently.


Facial expressions for "fear" and "surprise" were confused by some participants
Facial expressions for "fear" and "surprise" were confused by some participants

East Asian participants in the study focused mostly on the eyes, but those from the West scanned the whole face.

In the research carried out by a team from Glasgow University, East Asian observers found it more difficult to distinguish some facial expressions.

The work published in Current Biology journal challenges the idea facial expressions are universally understood.

In the study, East Asians were more likely than Westerners to read the expression for "fear" as "surprise", and "disgust" as "anger".

The researchers say the confusion arises because people from different cultural groups observe different parts of the face when interpreting expression.

East Asians participants tended to focus on the eyes of the other person, while Western subjects took in the whole face, including the eyes and the mouth.

Co-author, Dr Rachael Jack1, from the University of Glasgow, said: "Interestingly, although the eye region is ambiguous(模棱两可的), subjects tended to bias2(偏见) their judgements towards less socially-threatening emotions - surprise rather than fear, for example.

"This perhaps highlights cultural differences when it comes to the social acceptability of emotions."

The team showed 13 Western Caucasians and 13 East Asians a set of standardised images depicting3(描述) the seven main facial expressions: happy, sad, neutral(中立的,中性的), angry, disgusted, fearful and surprised.

They used eye movement trackers to monitor where the participants were looking when interpreting the expressions.

A computer program given the same information from the eyes as the East Asian observers was similarly unable to distinguish between the emotions of disgust and anger, and fear and surprise.

The paper states that the Eastern participants used a culturally specific decoding4 strategy that was inadequate5 to reliably distinguish the universal facial expressions of fear and disgust.

It concluded that information from the eyes is often ambiguous and confusing in these expressions, with consequences for cross-cultural communication and globalisation.

The researchers also point out that this difference in perception is reflected in the differences between Eastern and Western emoticons - the typographical(印刷上的) characters used to convey emotions in e-mails.

The Eastern emoticons are not only the right way up but focus on the eyes, whilst in the West the mouth is important.


1 jack 53Hxp     
  • I am looking for the headphone jack.我正在找寻头戴式耳机插孔。
  • He lifted the car with a jack to change the flat tyre.他用千斤顶把车顶起来换下瘪轮胎。
2 bias 0QByQ     
  • They are accusing the teacher of political bias in his marking.他们在指控那名教师打分数有政治偏见。
  • He had a bias toward the plan.他对这项计划有偏见。
3 depicting eaa7ce0ad4790aefd480461532dd76e4     
描绘,描画( depict的现在分词 ); 描述
  • a painting depicting the Virgin and Child 一幅描绘童贞马利亚和圣子耶稣的画
  • The movie depicting the battles and bloodshed is bound to strike home. 这部描写战斗和流血牺牲的影片一定会取得预期效果。
4 decoding b888b2fd35f4dd1fafb025cc18212418     
n.译码,解码v.译(码),解(码)( decode的现在分词 );分析及译解电子信号
  • We cannot add any other memory to this system without further decoding. 如果不增加译码,就不能使系统的存贮容量有任何扩展。 来自辞典例句
  • Examples using the 8250 will be presented in hardware section to clarify full-decoding schemes. 在硬件一节中有应用说明全译码方案8250的例子。 来自辞典例句
5 inadequate 2kzyk     
  • The supply is inadequate to meet the demand.供不应求。
  • She was inadequate to the demands that were made on her.她还无力满足对她提出的各项要求。
TAG标签: global expression facial