(Part I) Decoding the Human Language of Expression
In the study of emotional expression, strong evidence exists in support of both universal displays and cultural variations in emotional expression. We collected and coded over 5500 free-response facial and body displays of emotion as part of an emotion expression production study of 21 emotions and other cognitive states in China, India, Japan, Korea, and the USA. Participants demonstrated nonverbal displays of emotion in response to stories representing these 21 states. Our analyses reveal common core patterns of expressive behavior for each state, extensive “cultural accents” across all 5 cultures, and systematic individual differences in expressive style. We also tested the universal recognition of 30 facial and vocal expressions that have been documented in previous studies to covary with the experience of distinct emotion in ten nations representing five continents.
Recognition data revealed universal recognition of 25 of these expressions across China, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Pakistan, Poland, Turkey, and the USA. We conclude from these studies that there exist universal patterns of human emotional expression embedded within systematic cultural differences.
(Part II) Making the Leap from Organic Synthesis to Human Behavior.
If someone told me in 2003 when I joined the Ithaca College Chemistry department that I would end up studying emotion psychology as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, I would have had a good laugh. This is the story of how I left my comfort zone in the fume hood to pursue a completely different lifestyle and academic trajectory with some of the most fascinating and bizarre scientists on the planet. From this study I conclude that life is mysterious, exciting, and has many paths to offer; it's up to you to explore them and enjoy the journey.
Seminar will be held in Williams 225 on Tuesday, October 8th, @ 4:00 p.m