Friday, 4 January 2008

Can you read facial expressions?

Facial expressions are an important channel of nonverbal communication. Many animal species display facial expressions, but expressions are highly developed particularly in the primates, and perhaps most of all, in us humans. Messages of the face that provide commentary and illustration about verbal communications are significant in themselves.

So what emotions do you think these faces are conveying?









Many autistic children find facial expressions hard to read. This could be one of the reasons why they love Thomas the Tank engine (C certainly does!) Apart from all the crashing and bashing and lining up, the facial expressions are very simple and exaggerated.


So how did you get on with the above faces? The answers from left to right are; Angry, Disgust, Fear, Joy, Sad and Surprise. Did you get them right?

If you want another go - try this.

43 comments:

Anne Brooke said...

Nearly right! Though Joy is fairly false - obviously trying too hard there, poor girl!

:))

A
xx

Chaoticidealism said...

Got em all. They're very exaggerated, though. People almost never make expressions that extreme, AND hold them for the three or four seconds it takes me to evaluate them.

Y'know, maybe that's why it's so hard--they go by too fast.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

Oh I love reading facial expressions. You don't need to actually ASK a person how they are feeling, just read there face. (People can read me like a book!)

Omega Mum said...

I was convinced Number 1 was constipation - imagine my disappointment when I found out the truth. I have a friend with an asperger's son - he loved Thomas but is keen on all cartoons, I suspect because emotions are so clearly presented in exaggerated form and therefore unambiguous.

Elizabethd said...

Got them except for fear, and that didnt look right at all!
But, you know, we are all so good at hiding our feelings behind the mask we present to the world that no one can be really sure of what they are reading on a face!

Wayne said...

My wife uses those.

Tom Foolery (TF) said...

It always freaks me out when someone's facial expression shows one emotion, but their tounge speaks another conflicting language.
.
Glad to see that they were all FALSE. TFx

eric1313 said...

The interactive facial expressions was an interesting page. It was weird to see how they all match up so perfectly.

Yes, not just the face, but the language of the body. All of it is very important. I didn't know that children with autism had trouble reading faces. Thanks for the info!

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

I got most of these!!

I prefer exaggerated facial expressions, and I know my son finds them easier to interpret - Thomas the Tank was popular in our house when my son was younger.

Great post!!

r.b. said...

I didn't get fear. It looked more like a mixed message, readying for a fight or something.

I equate fear with wide open eyes, vulneralbility.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I think it would be fair to say that my own facial expressions are quite easy to read. I am generally good at reading expressions, particularly on Amy when she's done something she shouldn't have!

Crystal xx

buffalodickdy said...

I'm an easy read- I actually use facial expressions on purpose to go along with what I'm saying verbally, lest I be misunderstood.

frog ponds rock... said...

I have a pretty expressive face So I am told hehehe There are some flowers for you on my blog.. just come over and get them.. cheers kim

Gledwood said...

sorry i do not wish to read such vulgar uncouth expressions!

if you are the mother of shrek i genuinely pity you... actually i don't. seeing as he's made about $0.5 billion in a movie franchise I hope he has helped you out big time!!

lots of love
;->...
from
Gledwood
"Vol 2"...

LittleBrownDog said...

Goodness - is that what they meant? I thought the first one was someone trying to hold their breath followed by nose-wrinkling, anger, barely-concealed anger, and bored. Surprise, I suppose does look a bit like surprise.

motherx said...

I got most of those! We LOVE Thomas in our house and Underground Ernie, who has way out expres. I always over exagerate my face as its the only way to get my point across.

A Bishops wife said...

I use facial expressions alot. My kids do too and I think they get it from me. Believe it or not my Junior is an expert at it (another myth dissoved)he knows from my reaction, which is always waay out their when he gives an extra cute one!

bullet said...

I got the bottom three quite easily, but the top three I could just define as "negative" for each one.

Odat said...

I didn't get the fear one either...wasn't sure what that was....

Peace

laughingwolf said...

no prob for a ol wuffster, thx cas!

laurentius rex said...

Surprise and Have a Nice Day are the only ones I can be definate about the others are too vague and I am supposed to be trained in this.

Oh well snapshots are not exactly real life situations, just a frozen moment in time.

Pipany said...

I was a bit rubbish at this despite having children who have had to rely on facial expressions because of hearing difficulties! Says it all doesn't it? xx

aims said...

I didn't get the fear one either - she just doesn't look scared...confused maybe - not scared.

d. chedwick bryant said...

I don't see blasé or grumpy in the expressions above.
interesting post!

Joan said...

Fear??? I just don't see it...where's the wide-eyed terror? The others, however, seemed pretty spot-on. Reading facial expressions and body language are a skill not everyone has.

misha_k said...

I got all but the second and third ones. I think I'm too used to seeing J's expressions chart. lol!

Seamus said...

I got them all, but not all faces are so expressive.

Tina said...

Oo, we all have trouble with the fear one! That's because if I'm frightened, I have my hands over my eyes... I used to think I was poker faced, but my friends tell a different story...

Patti said...

I also didn't get the fear one...
interesting stuff

Ian Lidster said...

For 'fear' I just put worry. Both work. Interesting. I had a a border collie that smiled when he was happy. It looked grotesque. It also used to make him sneeze.

But Why? said...

I thought fear was confusion. That's definitely my confused face, but then again, I like to know what's going on and being confused takes me out of my comfort zone. I'm sure I look more petrified than that when I'm properly fearful....

Misslionheart♥ said...

Thanks again for commenting.

The brother I mention on the post, died in 1993. (Epilepsy) I hope no-one thinks my brother who recently tried to commit suicide has died....

Maybe I should explain!

Suzanne said...

I missed a LOT of them. yipes!! I was confused by the exaggeration. fear and joy... nope, I still don't see those that way.

Emily, as some know me said...

Missed fear and disgust. The sad face is hilariously overdone. I don't think I'm very good with faces, and I have a terrible time with people who have flat affect. I think I need BIG facial expressions if they're going to communicate anything to me. At school, they work with my son on two things: being aware of his own expressions, which often communicate something he doesn't mean (happens to me all the time, too), and understanding the expressions other people make. I have no idea if either effort will actually work.

Preposterous Ponderings said...

I didn't guess the fear one right.She looked more mad to me. Hmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

What a relief to read that I'm not alone! I couldn't get the fear one either. Agree with elizabethd that people hide their emotions behind masks anyways, and chaoticidealism, that people don't usually make such exaggerated expressions.

Wonder if the reason Thomas the Tank Engine is so popular with most children is because the facial expressions are non threatening, safe to look at.

JUST A MOM said...

I have often wondered what it is that Thomas has

Kelley said...

We had cards stuck on the walls everywhere with different facial expressions. And mirrors. Lots of mirrors.
Luckily Boo has Hyperlexia as well so the words were next to them as an extra prompt.

Boo loved Blues Clues. Steve had wonderful expressive eyes and exaggerated expressions. And the eye contact! You could never ever escape those huge brown eyes!

Alin Steglinski said...

i absolutely hate facial expression unless its extremely exaggerated, and held for a while, i cannot evaluate "on demand"

Squirrel said...

the fear pic looks to me like she is gearing up for a challenge--like cleaning a really messy house--a mess she did not make. Grrrr... getting to it!

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I didn't get the fear one. She really does not look scared to me.

J said...

My boys and I looked at the pix and like nearly everyone else we missed the one depicting fear. My older one had trouble with the anger one, though he usually picks up on anger in children's books. Go figure.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

I always have trouble with these kinds of pictures -- maybe because the people are faking it, maybe because I don't have context, maybe because I'm a little autistic... Who knows!