Why Does Your Face Look Like That?

Interpreting facial expressions is a lot harder than I expected. I thought that I was fairly decent at being able to interpret other’s emotions from their facial expressions, but after completing the emotional intelligence quiz from UC Berkley, I am unsure. I ended up getting a score of 15 out of 20 when I took the quiz, which is not a terrible score, but I expected to only get one or two wrong when completing it, not five.

The reason I believe that I got more questions wrong than I thought I would is because I found the more negative emotions, such as embarrassment, pain, and fear more difficult to distinguish between than some of the more positive emotions, such as happiness, love, and desire. It seemed more difficult for me to distinguish between all of the negative emotions as I feel like most them are expressed in similar situations. For example, one of the very first faces I identified wrong was fear. I had said that the face the person was making was embarrassment, as it seemed like the taunt mouth and big eyes were expressing a type of awkwardness I would feel if I was embarrassed. In this situation, I related the facial expression to one that I would make; however, I neglected to realize that I personally connect fear and embarrassment on a deeper level. I fear being in embarrassing situations, so it makes sense as to why I would make a face that expresses fear when I am really trying to express embarrassment. As for the more positive emotions, I do not connect them as deeply to each other, as I do not see happiness, flirtatiousness, and desire as the same type of facial expressions.

Although I did fail to predict how many questions I would get right on the quiz, I do feel as though it is somewhat reliable. The Science Center at UC Berkeley is a fairly credible source and each of the pictures is backed with a scientific explanation as to why the correct answer is correct.

I also found the emotional intelligence quiz to be fairly affective in teaching me some information I can use in daily life. Now that I know certain muscle tendencies for each type of emotion, I will be able to more clearly identify these emotions while having face-to-face discussions with people in real life. If I am able to more clearly understand the emotions of the people I am talking to, I will be able to communicate more clearly with them and have more control over social situations. I am glad that I took the quiz!

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One thought on “Why Does Your Face Look Like That?”

  1. Fifteen out of twenty is certainly not a bad score considering that there are only truly six universally recognizable facial expressions: happy, sad, angry, fear, disgust, surprise. The rest are where the lines blur, especially since a lot of the emotions represented in the quiz were very closely linked. Just as you said, a lot of facial expressions are actually a combination of two emotions, such as blends of anger and disgust or happiness and surprise.

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