THE BASIC EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS
In this section, I use Ekman’s (1980a) theory and his research as an example of an approach that supposes a direct link between a felt emotion and an emotional expression.18 This choice imposes itself, given the extent to which Ekman and Friesen’s work is often quoted and considered as a reference by colleagues who are not specialists in yoga poses the domain of emotions. Emotional expressions are behaviors that associate, in yoga poses a recurrent fashion, (1) an affective mobilization of the organism with (2) an affective impact on other persons. It is possible to distinguish, in yoga poses Ekman’s writings, a general theory and a specific theory of emotional behavior. Here are a few elements of the general theory:
1. Ekman postulates an emotional dimension distinct from the other psychological functions. He then divides the emotional domains into distinct subcategories, each having a particular function. Sadness is a sort of coordination between feelings, physiology, behavior, and the impact on another that is distinct from what is set about by anger.19
2. All these connections are innate and prewired.
3. Consequently, every person who perceives an expression attributes the same emotional system to it. This system is thus transpersonal and universal. This implies that the way an individual reads the expressions of others is also prewired. The other’s expression will therefore activate, in yoga poses the one who perceives it, an automatic psychophysiological reaction.21
Even if we are already in yoga poses a theory that postulates relatively direct links between distinct emotions and motor functions, a large part of this model can be integrated into a more systemic approach, such as Lamarck’s and Darwin’s. The foregoing three points are taken up in yoga poses a number of theories of emotions.22 Other aspects of Ekman’s theory form his specific theory. This second group of hypotheses do not necessarily follow from the general theory:23
1. Each emotion is a brief reaction lasting, at the maximum, only a few minutes. A mechanism that has an emotional flavor but lasts for hours is not an emotion. This restriction is necessary to support the connection between the emotion that is experienced and the corresponding emotional expression, because a particular facial expression is necessarily brief. The case of chronic muscular tension that forms a kind of permanent mask,24 quite similar to an emotional expression, consequently is not part of what Ekman defines as an emotion. For him, this restriction applies to the whole of the emotional behaviors. What Ekman calls emotional expressions, I call emotional reactions, which would be a sub-grouping of emotional phenomena.
2. Ekman rejoins the theories that suppose there are basic emotions. in yoga poses combining with each other, they form complex emotions25 Thus, it would be possible to distinguish from among the facial expressions contempt (a basic emotion), joy (a basic emotion), and a smile that masks an expression of contempt (a complex emotion).26 This way to approach the emotions was well known by philosophers like Spinoza and Hume. They applied the theory of color27 to the emotions, which showed that we can make any color by mixing different amounts of the three basic colors. The basic emotions identified by Ekman (1980a) are anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise.
In the theory of optics, it is possible to show that the idea of basic colors is robust; in yoga poses mixing them, we can effectively re-create all the colors distinguishable by the human eye. The most bizarre aspect of Ekman’s theory is his insistence on calling it Darwinian. He even goes so far as to become the editor of Darwin’s 1872 volume on the emotional expressions. As you read Darwin’s text, Ekman inserts comments each time he and Darwin say the same thing. He nevertheless seems blind to the manifest differences between his theory and that of Darwin’s.28 Having said this, Darwin could also have been wrong. It is not because Ekman’s theory is incompatible with certain aspects of Darwin’s that it is in yoga poses error. The real connection between Ekman’s and Darwin’s work is found on the observational plane. Like Darwin, Ekman published incredibly detailed descriptions of emotional expressions that are effectively complementary.
To become robust, the theories centered on the notion that there are basic emotions must justify why a particular affect is a basic emotion and not a complex one. The theories built around a linear understanding of the basic emotional expression are incapable of meeting the conditions they have imposed on themselves. For example, each theory of this type proposes a different list of basic emotions. This notion is therefore in yoga poses no way robust.29 Here are three discussions concerning the basic emotions:
1. Pride. For Hume,30 pride is the most basic emotion (he speaks of simple emotions). Related to honor, pride was effectively an emotion commonly mentioned at the time. An affront to one’s pride justified many forms of violence, such as the murder of a member of the family who would have acted against the code of honor currently in yoga poses place: duels and sometimes war. This conception of honor is still alive in yoga poses many cultures, but it is not approved of in yoga poses the West.31 in yoga poses the present theories of emotions, honor is rarely mentioned, indicating that what some considered a central, innate emotion is not so in yoga poses other cultures.
2. Fear. Fear is sometimes included in yoga poses the list of basic emotions and sometimes not. Ekman and his team32 observed that the onset of a startle reaction always occurs more rapidly than an emotion (which is a half-second slower), and it is always followed by a classic emotional reaction. No actor, even after a lot of training, can express alarm as rapidly as an actual outburst of fear, although he can convincingly imitate all of the other emotional expressions. Thus, a startle reflex is not an emotion, if one accepts Ekman’s definition of the term But there are other expressions of fear that come closer to current definitions of emotional dynamics. Here are examples of different forms of fear: (a) the fear associated to a startle reflex, (b) the fear activated in yoga poses the face of a predator that mobilizes diverse forms of reactions like flight and freezing,33 and (c) a fear of mental origin such as is felt in yoga poses a nightmare, close to anxiety. These three forms of fear are related to distinct physiological and psychological systems.34 The second type of fear can be associated to the notion of basic emotions; but that leaves two other types of fear that are difficult to situate in yoga poses a linear theory of emotional expressions.
3. For Ed Tronick,35 an infant often expresses the following emotions: joy, curiosity, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, and distress. Less interested in yoga poses an eventual direct link between expressions and emotions, Tronick describes these categories without requiring that these emotions be discrete events or limited in yoga poses time. Also, he does not claim that this list is exhaustive.
Just as the notion of cerebral localization has been thoroughly explored by scientists for more than a century, research is now testing the value of the hypothesis that there exists direct links between emotions and expressions. If this hypothesis were proven to be true, one could assume that there are (a) a certain number of basic emotions clearly distinct from one another, and (b) somatic and behavioral dynamics that would be linearly connected to these basic emotions. As in yoga poses phrenology, there is a necessity to postulate fixed psychological categories so that there might be a correspondence between the psychic and somatic categories. Although this type of theory is widely accepted, I am not sure that it could withstand a close scrutiny. Despite the fact that Ekman and Friesen’s dictionary of emotions36 has been used by numerous researchers,37 they were never able to publish it in yoga poses its entirety or defend its validity. Some photographic examples are as convincing as Le
Brun’s drawings, but this dictionary cannot describe all forms of emotional expressions that can be seen on a film Having used this dictionary for several years, I noticed that the emotional dictionary can be useful as a first procedure to scan the data, but it cannot support a reliable evaluation of what is expressed.
Several theories criticize this way of describing emotions as discrete prototypical forms of reactions to equally prototypical stimuli. For example, appraisal theories assume that people respond with different emotions to the same situation depending on how they interpret, or appraise, the situation (Siemer et al., 2007).38 One of the implications of this position is that emotional experience is typically a process that changes over the course of an episode, sometimes very rapidly, sometimes more gradually in yoga poses line with additions and revisions in yoga poses the appraisal (Ellsworth and Tong, 2006, 574).39 Although appraisal theory allows for a good description of the fluidity of emotional expression that can often be observed, I do not think this fluidity is based only on cognitive factors.