Its very hard for me to read emotional expressions.  I can never tell when something is bothering someone or how they feel in a certain situation.  It is easier for me to identify emotions of close friends and family, but for strangers I have no clue how. I did the emotions test for this assignment and surprisingly got a 13/20.  I know that isn’t very high, but it was way better than I thought I would get. The test was given in the Greater Good Magazine, which usually magazines aren’t the most credible sources.  The test was however said to be based off of the pioneering research of psychologists Paul Ekman and Dacher Kelther.  These psychologists seem credible but not so much the source on where their results were tested.  University of Berkley is a very well known and credible school who established this magazine to connect the bridge between the research community and the general public.  The quiz therefore seems to be controversial as to whether it was 100% accurate but it did supply scientific explanations behind each picture of emotions.

I found that identifying when someone was happy, angry, sad, scared, or surprised was the easiest.  Happiness tended to have the corners of the mouth turning upward.  Anger showed a tensed face and surprised had an open jaw.  Disgust and flirtatiousness were also relatively easy for me to identify.  The more confusing facial expressions came with interest, compassion, pain, and contempt.  I think contempt was the hardest one for me because it looked more confused than contempt in my eyes. Interest was also a very difficult one. Being able to identify emotions in facial expressions is a very good thing to pick up on.  It can help you decide who needs a compliment or helping hand when down.  It also can facilitate how you speak or talk with certain individuals not to offset their mood.  Recognizing how an individual is feeling can help you relate to their situation better and put yourself in their shoes. Emotions help express actions of a person too. For example, knowing when my dad is angry and when he is happy will help determine what time I ask him for money.



One thought on “Week 8- Emotional States

  1. I also agree that the emotion test was hard, I only got a 14/15. I think it would have been a lot easier if we would have known the context of the facial expressions and could have talked to the people; then the emotions like interest, compassion, pain, and contempt could have been easier to decipher. The only way to truly know the people’s emotions for sure, however, is to hook them up to a face electromyography; a face electromyography measures muscle activity by detecting electrical impulses that are given of when muscles contract. It can pick up muscle contractions that happen so fast that you may not have even seen it happen. If you know what muscles a person is using in their face, you can compare it with muscles that are known to contract with different emotions to determine what emotion that person is feeling. You could also measure their heart rate, use skin conductance, or from their startle reflex.


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