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> > You could go a step lower and look at human ability to
> > read "faces" or wolves or chimps ability to read
> > "postures" as expressions of emotion (or intent).
> I've often wondered how 'hardwired' this ability is. Try
> looking at a photograph of a person and then mimicking their
> facial expression/posture; it tends to effect your emotional
> state. You'll often see a person mimic the facial
> expressions of a friend who is suffering emotional trauma
> (or simply laughing). So I'm thinking the links between
> emotion and expression are two-way, emotion causes
> expression but expression also causes emotion. This would
> mean there's no need to recognise specific patterns (eg, the
> ability to recognise pain and pleasure is not hardcoded).
This is consistent with James Laird's facial-feedback hypothesis. It states that an expression not only reflects one's emotion, it also triggers an emotional experience. Laird did research to corroborate this in 1974, as did Zajonc in 1989.
A similar phenomenon is experienced with posture, as determined by the research of Sabine Stepper and Fritz Strack in 1993. Sitting upright creates pride, leaning forward with fists clenched creates anger, and sitting slumped with head down creates sadness.
I learned this in psych. class in the last few weeks. Since then, I've tried walking around wearing a gratuitous smile and found that it does indeed lift my spirits.
President, Extropian Technologies
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Fax: (831) 840-0420
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