Universals and cultural differences in the judgments of facial expressions of emotion.

by P Ekman, W V Friesen, M O'Sullivan, a Chan, I Diacoyanni-Tarlatzis, K Heider, R Krause, W a LeCompte, T Pitcairn, P E Ricci-Bitti, K Scherer, M Tomita show all authors
Journal of personality and social psychology ()


We present here new evidence of cross-cultural agreement in the judgement of facial expression. Subjects in 10 cultures performed a more complex judgment task than has been used in previous cross-cultural studies. Instead of limiting the subjects to selecting only one emotion term for each expression, this task allowed them to indicate that multiple emotions were evident and the intensity of each emotion. Agreement was very high across cultures about which emotion was the most intense. The 10 cultures also agreed about the second most intense emotion signaled by an expression and about the relative intensity among expressions of the same emotion. However, cultural differences were found in judgments of the absolute level of emotional intensity.

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