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Facial Expression test

Robert McCormick's picture

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Here is a brief quiz to test your ability to correctly identify the emotion behind facial expressions. To take the quiz, click a numbered button below to view images of individuals. These images will change briefly to display an expression. After the expression has flashed click on the word that describes the expression you have identitied. If you were wrong, click on another word button until you are told you are right. After the expression has flashed, you can press the corresponding numeric key on your keyboard to hold the expression on the screen.

This interactive graphic is based on "The Micro Expression Training Tool" developed by Paul Ekman, PH.D., a professor of psychology at the University of California Medical School in San Francisco.

Click below to take the quiz.

The facial expression test



The story

Paul Ekman in the 1980s spent a year gazing into a mirror while learning to voluntary control close to 200 hundred muscles of the face. He identified 18 kinds of smiles all involving the 15 facial muscles.

Tibetan saying, “When you smile at life, half the smile is for your face the other half for somebody else’s. Smiles have an edge over all other emotional expressions: the human brain prefers happy faces, recognizing them more readily and quickly than those with negative expressions-an effect know as the “happy face advantage.” This implies that nature tends to foster positive relationships, we are not innately primed to dislike people from the start. Indeed, laughter may be the shortest distant between two brains.



Sherry's picture

facial muscles

It is hard to imagine that there are close to 200 facial muscles in the face. Learning to voluntarily control those muscles must have been an exercise in patience. I've tested the effects of smiling often by smiling at grumpy faces in a checkout line. A high percentage of these grumpy faces turned to smiles.