Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 32, Issue 5, October by Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors) PDF

By Paul Bloom & Barbara L. Finlay (Editors)

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Nonconsensual tickle, like nonconsensual sex, is unwelcome and unpleasant. Vigil’s emphasis on the reciprocity of emotional relationships is well placed. Vocal crying and tearing are emotional signals that provide informative contrasts with laughing, humor, and tickling. The first study of tearing as a visual signal of sadness found that faces with tears appeared sadder than identical faces with tears removed by digital image processing (Provine et al. 2009). Tear removal produced faces that were not only less sad but of ambiguous emotional state.

Collectively, these findings demonstrated that spontaneous expressions of emotion are not only dependent on observational (social) learning. Matsumoto and Willingham (2006) conclude that the initial expressions were probably not displayed because of the social nature of the event but were, rather, reflections of the athletes’ emotional responses to the outcome of the match. This is fully in line with a second body of evidence coming from the embodied cognition literature. , Barsalou 1999; 2008), research has demonstrated that individuals use simulations to represent knowledge.

For instance, SRFB assumes that a smile systematically aims to motivate reactions in perceivers that will in turn enhance the smiler’s fitness. Although this is undoubtedly one key function of facial expression, I am not comfortable with the strict view that expressive behaviors (among which are expressed emotions) are purely social in nature. There exist two important lines of research showing (1) that individuals (even congenitally blind people) express emotion even in the absence of an audience and (2) that facial expressions can also play another role in emotional life, which is to serve as the grounding for the processing of emotional information (Barsalou 1999).

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