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Scientists say it is “completely nonsensical” that you can read people’s emotions by their expressions

NEVER trust a person’s face: scientists say it is “completely nonsensical” that you can read people’s emotions through their expressions

  • Scientists analyzed facial muscle movements related to specific feelings
  • They discovered that attempts to detect emotions based on this were usually wrong
  • Research conducted by Prof. Aleix Martinez at Ohio State University, USA.

It may seem obvious that you can determine a person’s mood based on whether they are smiling or angry.

But facial indicators are in fact very bad signals for our inner feelings, a study has discovered. Scientists analyzed facial muscle movements related to a specific feeling and compared this to the actual emotions of a participant at that time.

They discovered that attempts to detect or define emotions based on facial expressions were almost always wrong.

The research showed that facial expressions are a bad signal of our inner feelings (stock)

The research showed that facial expressions are a bad signal of our inner feelings (stock)

Professor Aleix Martinez, of Ohio State University in the US, said, “The question we really asked is,” Can we really detect emotion from facial expressions? “And the basic conclusion is, no, that is not possible.

“Not everyone who smiles is happy. Not everyone who is happy laughs. If you are happy all day, you don’t walk in the street with a smile on your face. You’re just happy. “

“Some claim they can detect whether someone is guilty of a crime or not, or that a student is paying attention in class, or that a customer is satisfied after a purchase.

“What our research has shown is that those claims are completely absurd.

‘You cannot determine those things in any way. And worse, it can be dangerous. “

Participants had to look at a cropped face without the body to estimate their mood (stock)

Participants had to look at a cropped face without the body to estimate their mood (stock)

Participants had to look at a cropped face without the body to estimate their mood (stock)

In one experiment, the scientists showed the participants a photo that was cropped to represent a man’s face, open in an apparent scream.

The professor added: “If people looked at it, they would think,” Wow, this man is super irritated. ” But when participants saw the whole picture, they saw that it was a soccer player who celebrated a goal. “

Professor Martinez said: “The concern is how this can be used in cities like London, which has a large number of security cameras. If this is used in the future to select people based on how they behave, it would be very dangerous. “

The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Seattle.

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