This post may contain affiliate links. When writing about facial expressions, most writers are content to keep it simple. You know that keeping things vague and simple or including overused adverbs to simplify descriptions can impact the flow of your story as a whole. You know that a little extra effort can go a long way. Understanding the characteristics of each expression is the first step towards knowing how to properly describe them in your own writing.
Feelings and Emotions Activities for Facial Expressions No Prep
The 16 facial expressions most common to emotional situations worldwide
Last Updated: June 23, References Approved. To create this article, 23 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed , times. Learn more Recognizing facial expressions is an important way to get a sense of how someone is feeling.
The Difference Between Feelings and Emotions
Earlier, you learned about the limbic system, which is the area of the brain involved in emotion and memory Figure 1. The limbic system includes the hypothalamus, thalamus, amygdala, and the hippocampus. The hypothalamus plays a role in the activation of the sympathetic nervous system that is a part of any given emotional reaction. The thalamus serves as a sensory relay center whose neurons project to both the amygdala and the higher cortical regions for further processing.
Reading facial expressions isn't the only way we understand the emotions of others. We rely on a variety of information, including tone of voice Paulmann and Uskul , body language Aviezer et al , and contextual cues Aguert et al Nevertheless, our ability decode faces is very important, and may be linked with several measures of success and social competence. They tend to perform better academically Kang et al On the flip side, children who have more trouble identifying emotion in faces are more likely to have peer problems and learning difficulties Goodfellow and Nowicki