The acclaimed new research by the University of California confirms the universality of people’s emotional feelings across geographical and cultural boundaries. Professor Dacher Keltner, UC Berkeley psychologist and lead author of the study, said: “This study shows just how amazing people in different parts of the world are in how we expressing feelings against the most meaningful contexts of our lives. ”
Researchers at UC Berkeley and Google used Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning technology called “deep neural network”.
This allowed facial expressions to be analyzed in approximately six million video clips uploaded to YouTube from 144 countries.
Dr Alan Cowen, a researcher at both UC Berkeley and Google who helped develop the AI algorithm, said: “This is the first worldwide study of the use of facial expressions in everyday life, and it shows us that many universal human emotional feelings are richer and more complex than many scientists have previously assumed. ”
Dr. Cowen created an interactive map to show how the algorithm tracked changes in facial expressions typically associated with 16 emotions.
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These ranged from fireworks spectators, people dancing or arguing with a upset baby.
They used the algorithm to track examples of 16 facial expressions that were most commonly associated with the following emotions: fun, anger, surprise, concentration, upset, contempt, happiness, desire, disappointment, doubt, shouting, interest, pain, sadness, wonder and victory.
They then cross-referenced the face expressions with the contexts and situations in which they were made across different areas of the world.
This has led to similarities in the use of facial expressions by people across geographical and cultural boundaries in different social contexts.
Dr Cowen said: “We have found that rich nuances in facial behavior – including subtle expressions that we associate with surprise, pain, impact, and 13 other emotions – are used in similar social situations around the world. ”
The photos on YouTube showed that people all over the world tended to look in awe at fireworks displays, showcasing happiness at weddings and waking their breasts in focus as they martial arts making.
They also show suspicion at complaints, pain when working out, and the issue of attending gigs and football concerts.
The results showed that people from different cultures share about 70 percent of the facial expressions used in response to different social and emotional situations.
Dr Keltner said: “This supports Darwin’s theory that showing emotion in our faces is universal.
“The physical expression of our emotions may define who we are as a gender, enhance our communication and co-operation skills and ensure our survival.”