Facial Expression

Discovered yet another interesting article while surfing. ^^,

A team from Glasgow University carried out a research that suggests that people from different cultures read facial expressions differently and this study also challenges the idea that facial expressions are universally understood. >.<

The study concluded that East Asian participants in the study focused mostly on the eyes, but those from the West scanned the whole face. >.< and because of that, East Asians were more likely than Westerners to read the expression for “fear” as “surprise”, and “disgust” as “anger”.

Also, this is not all. Apparently, this is also evident in the emoticons used online. ^^,

East West differences in Emoticons
Emotion West East
‘Happy’ :- ) (^_^)
‘Sad’ :- ( (;_;) or (T_T)
‘Surprise’ :- o (o.o)

As you can see, the Eastern emoticon is not only the right way up, but also focuses mainly on the eyes while for the West, the focus is mainly on the mouth.

Most text are copy and pasted via BBC

After reading this article, 2 things popped into my mind. First is that notice the emoticons I used in my post? All focuses on the eye. >.< And secondly, for the ladies, this explains why sometimes your partner might ‘misread’ you because he was simply not seeing the big picture. ^^,

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2 Responses to “Facial Expression”


  1. 1 Sam S September 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    HAHA interesting indeed, love these socio-cultural findings.
    hmm i used to use upright emoticons like yours, but lately i’ve switched back to the western ones… so that means i’m seeing the bigger picture now eh? wheee 😀
    about bf’s misreading girls… why don’t u just say they’re too mesmerised by our eyes to see the whole face, HAHAHA
    that aside, i think both the eyes and the mouth are important in creating facial expressions.

  2. 2 クリンソン ドリーム September 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

    ^^, LOL. I still prefer the upright one though. ^^, see my emoticon has eyes and also mouth, and also its upright. Muahahahahahahaha.

    Too mesmerized by you eyes? Hmm.. Do you mean optical eyes or the other pair of ‘eyes’? LOL Kidding kidding. >.<


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