An entire industry of automated purported emotion-reading technologies is quickly emerging and it's based on outdated science.
Emotion-detection applications built on outdated science, report warns | EurekAlert! Science News
The authors note that the general public and some scientists believe that there are unique facial expressions that reliably indicate six emotion categories: anger, sadness, happiness, disgust, fear, and surprise. But in reviewing more than 1,000 published findings about facial movements and emotions, they found that typical study designs don't capture the real-life differences in the way people convey and interpret emotions on faces. A scowl or a smile can express more than one emotion depending on the situation, the individual or the culture, they say.
"People scowl when angry, on average, approximately 25 percent of the time, but they move their faces in other meaningful ways when angry," Barrett explains. "They might cry, or smile, or widen their eyes and gasp. And they also scowl when not angry, such as when they are concentrating or when they have a stomach ache. Similarly, most smiles don't imply that a person is happy, and most of the time people who are happy do something other than smile."
Software that purportedly reads emotions in faces is being deployed or tested for a variety of purposes, including surveillance, hiring, clinical diagnosis, and market research. But a new scientific report finds that facial movements are an inexact gauge of a person's feelings, behaviors or intentions.www.eurekalert.org