Origins of human facial expressions

Whatever...

Moderators: Fahim, Distinct Sun, Víctor Paredes, erey, Belgarath, slowtiger

Post Reply
User avatar
jorgy
Posts: 779
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 8:01 pm
Location: Colorado, USA

Origins of human facial expressions

Post by jorgy » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:07 pm

I was listening to NPR this morning and heard the following story:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... d=91680864

It talks about researchers looking into the origin of facial expressions, why they are similar across humans all over the world, and what are the biological and environmental conditions that have molded them.

Just one of the tidbits from the article: when one is afraid, nostrils tend to flare, to get as much scent of danger as possible, to see what it is and where it is coming from.

Maybe we can animate better when we know why those facial expressions exist.

jorgy
Bones3D
Posts: 217
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 3:19 pm
Contact:

Post by Bones3D » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:09 am

I'm not convinced facial expressions have an "origin". More likely, they're simply a by-product of our reactions to various sensory input.

What probably does have an "origin" is the connotations we associate with them. Most of the simple ones are probably primitive comparisons to ourselves in varying states (such as wincing in pain). More complex ones, the ones we intentionally create (like winking) are probably almost as varied as our speech patterns and bodily gestures throughout different cultures.

Also, our individual personalities can play into how we interpret certain expressions, where in some cases a seemingly benign gesture from one person can trigger a malevolent response from others. (IE... bullying the nerdy guy for being nerdy.) It could be that at a primitive level, such benign gesturing signifies an element of weakness.

This almost delves directly into psychology itself. It might be worth researching some of the stuff Sigmund Freud theorized to gain more insight into how our expressions affect those around us.
8==8 Bones 8==8
human
Posts: 688
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:53 pm

Post by human » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:26 am

Bones3D wrote:It might be worth researching some of the stuff Sigmund Freud theorized to gain more insight into how our expressions affect those around us.
One problem.

In order to have science, you must have both hypothesis and experiment.

Sigmund Freud was 100% hypothesis, 0% experiment. That would make him, not to put too fine a point on it, nothing more than a crackpot.

Using Freudian psychoanalysis to explain human behavior is like using astrology to calculate the rotation speed of a neutron star--one has no more basis in objective fact than the other.

The reason Freudian psychology was so insanely successful was because it was able to put a respectable cloak over the period's most rabid prejudices.
User avatar
synthsin75
Posts: 7156
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:20 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Post by synthsin75 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:53 am

Freudian or not, all psychology is of the same pseudoscience. It's all a bag of ready-made excuses, just as Freud in his day. Take your pick. Socially unacceptable? Maybe OCD, or ADD, or any of the hundreds of crutches.

All just excuses why a person can't (won't) take responsibilty for their own behavior.
User avatar
jahnocli
Posts: 3344
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: UK

Post by jahnocli » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:31 am

Whoa -- that seems a bit harsh! I know that some very hard-nosed business people in the US started using psychological techniques to sell products in the sixties -- and they worked. AND these techniques got copied by ad agencies around the world. AND they are still with us. So it can't all be bull.
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
User avatar
synthsin75
Posts: 7156
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:20 pm
Location: Oklahoma
Contact:

Post by synthsin75 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:23 pm

You're right jahnocli, but those bits are closely gaurded advertising secrets. (At least the bits that actually work) The majority of the psychobabble the hapless public is subjected to is of the variety I mentioned.

IMO.
Post Reply