Are facial expressions universal? Does optimism/pessimism affect the intensity at which they are read?
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BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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Using the JACFEE program (Ekman & Matsumoto, 1988), an experiment was conducted to examine whether facial expressions are universal. It was also explored as to whether there was a relationship between optimism and pessimism and the intensity at which participants rated facial expressions, using the LOT questionnaire (Scheier & Carver, 1985). The study was conducted with 60 participants, 15 international students and 45 European students. A positive, weak, heading to moderate, significant relationship between optimism and pessimism and the total mean intensity of happiness. No significant relationship was found between optimism and pessimism and the total mean intensity of anger. A one-way ANOVA was conducted. It found no significant difference between ethnicity and correct responses. This would suggest facial expressions are universal. Author keywords: facial expressions, intensity of facial expressions, optimism/pessimism