A recent research has
shown that it is not the facial expression alone but also the body language,
that help us detect and understand the emotions of people. The eyes are no
longer the only window to the soul.
believe that as against the popular belief, a mere glance on the face of a
person is not sufficient enough to tell us whether he/she is in a state of
elation or depression.
Some people profess to
be able to read other's face but it is the body language that actually tells us
whether a person is feeling positive or negative.
In a study published
in the Science
were shown pictures of tennis players just after winning or losing a point.
The volunteers of the
study were asked to read their expression and then give their opinion about how
and what the players felt.
In some cases full
body of the players were shown while in others either their body or face was
shown to the study participants.
The volunteers who saw
the entire images could clearly tell whether a player was winning or losing,
but were convinced of having made their evaluations from the facial expressions
of the players.
The scientists from
Princeton and New York Universities and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
conducted another study where the participants were shown a variety of faces
portraying strong emotions such as pleasure, victory, joy, defeat and grief.
photography the experts attached the faces to the bodies showing contrasting
emotions and asked the participants to enact the sentiments they noticed in the
The scientist observed
that people were able to mimic the body poses and not the facial expressions.
This threw light on the fact that people interpret largely from the cues in the
body and not from the facial expressions.
Dr. Hillel Aviezer,
the lead author said, "These results show that when emotions become extremely
intense, the difference between positive and negative facial expression blurs."
He further added,
"The results may help researchers understand how body/face expressions
interact during emotional situations. For example, individuals with autism may
fail to recognize facial expressions, but perhaps if trained to process
important body cues, their performance may significantly improve."
The findings suggested
that when someone's emotional state is to be assessed, we do not rely merely on
Your Body Says More About Your Emotions Than
Your Face Does, Business Insider