Home » Science News » Are Facial Expressions Universal?
ScreenShot20170505at31731PM.jpg

Are Facial Expressions Universal?


Scientists debate whether the faces humans make mean the same thing around the world.

Everyone smiles in the same language, right? For decades, psychologists have backed up the idea that facial expressions are universal. Paul Ekman’s research in the 1960s was a driving force behind this popular notion. He found cultures worldwide describe facial expressions the same way: For example, a scrunched-up nose signals disgust. Even in the isolated Fore tribe of Papua New Guinea, Ekman’s theory held up. But other researchers believe subtle differences in facial expressions ex…

DSC-V0817_01

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:

  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!


Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on DiscoverMagazine.com, please log in.