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Recognition of Facial ExpressionScience project video

Abstract

How well can you tell the emotional state of another person just by looking at their facial expressions? You may be surprised to find it more difficult than expected, in particular for some emotions such as surprise or fear. In this science project, you will have participants view photographs of people with a variety of facial expressions and have them identify the emotion they are conveying.

Objective

Identify the emotional states of others.

Scientific Terms

facial expressions, emotions

Background

Historically, psychologists have considered facial expressions a gauge to how a person feels inside? a reflection of his or her emotional state. This theory has been challenged with new research that shows that there is little or no correlation between facial expressions and the emotional state of a person. Most researchers do agree that facial expressions serve as a form of communication. When someone smiles or frowns, it sends a clear message to others. A point of contention is whether the facial expressions reveal to the observer the emotional state of the person, or do facial expressions of the person merely serve to elicit a desired response from the observer.

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    Complexity level:
    5
    Project cost ($):
    Time required:
    Additional time is needed to recruit assistants, participants, and develop pictures (if needed).
    Material availability:
    Safety concerns: