You also learned certain facial management techniques that enable you to

You also learned certain facial management techniques

This preview shows page 8 - 10 out of 35 pages.

As you grew up, you learned your culture's system of nonverbal communication. You also learned certain facial management techniques that enable you to express feelings while achieving certain desired effects-for example, to hide certain emotions and to emphasize others. Consider your own use of such facial management techniques.
As you do so, think about the types of situations in which you would use facial management techniques for each of the following purposes:To intensify-for example, to exaggerate your astonishment at a surprise party to make your friends feel better.To Deintensify-for example, to cover up your own joy about good news in the presence of a friend who didn't receive any such news.To neutralize-for example, to cover up your sadness so as not to depress others.To mask-for example, to express happiness in order to cover up your disappointment at the set of luggage you received, rather than the car you expected.To simulate-to express an emotion you don't feel.Facial management techniques help you display emotions in socially acceptable ways.For example, if someone gets bad news in which you secretly take pleasure, the social display rule dictates that you frown and otherwise nonverbally signal sorrow. If you placefirst in a race and your best friend barely finishes, the display rule requires that you minimize your expression of happiness-and certainly avoid any signs of gloating. If you violate these display rules, you'll appear insensitive. So, although facial management techniques may be deceptive, they're expected and even required by the rules for polite interaction.Facial Feedback The facial feedback hypothesis claims that your facial expressions influence physiological arousal. In one study, for example, participants held a pen in their teeth to simulate a sad expression and then rated a series of photographs. Results showed that mimicking sad expressions actually increased the degree of sadness the subjects reported feeling when viewing the photographs. Generally, research finds that facial expressions can produce or heighten feelings of sadness, fear, disgust, and anger. But this effect does not occur with all emotions; smiling, for example, doesn't seem to make us feel happier. Further, it has not been demonstrated that facial expressions can eliminate one feeling and replace it with another. So if you're feeling sad, smiling will not eliminate the sadnessand replace it with gladness. A reasonable conclusion seems to be that your facial expressions can influence some feelings, but not all.Culture and Facial Expression The wide variations in facial communication that we observe in different cultures seem toreflect which reactions are publicly permissible, rather than a difference in the way emotions are facially expressed. For example, when Japanese and American students watched a film of a surgical operation, they were videotaped both while being interviewed about the film and alone while watching the film. When alone, the students showed very similar reactions. To the interview, however, the American students

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture