Recognizing spontaneous facial expressions of emotion in a small-scale society of Papua New Guinea
We report two studies on how residents of Papua New Guinea interpret facial expressions produced spontaneously by other residents of Papua New Guinea. Members of a small-scale indigenous society, Trobrianders (Milne Bay Province; N = 32, 14 to 17 years) were shown 5 facial expressions spontaneously produced by members of another small-scale indigenous society, Fore (Eastern Highlands Province) that Ekman had photographed, labeled, and published in The Face of Man (1980), each as an expression of a basic emotion: happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, and disgust. Trobrianders were asked to use any word they wanted to describe how each person shown felt and to provide valence and arousal ratings. Other Trobrianders (N = 24, 12 to 14 years) were shown the same photographs but asked to choose their response from a short list. In both studies, agreement with Ekman’s predicted labels was low: 0 to 16% and 13 to 38% of observers, respectively.
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Citation : Crivelli, C., Russell, J. A., Jarillo, S., and Fernández-Dols, J. M. (2017) Recognizing spontaneous facial expressions of emotion in a small-scale society of Papua New Guinea. Emotion, 17 (2), pp. 337-347
Research Institute : Institute for Psychological Science
Peer Reviewed : Yes