Human Facial Expression

1st Edition

An Evolutionary View

Authors: Alan Fridlund
Hardcover ISBN: 9780122676307
eBook ISBN: 9781483288512
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 12th August 1994
Page Count: 369
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This unique book provides an integrated view of human facial expressions based on contemporary knowledge about the evolution of signaling across the animal kingdom. Spanning fields that range from psychology and neurology to anthropology and linguistics, it reopens and discusses some of the classic questions in the field, including: What do facial expressions express? What are the relations between facial expressions and our motives and emotions? How did our facial expressions evolve? Are there really innate and universal facial expressions? Human Facial Expression is suitable for graduate and advanced undergraduate use as a text or course supplement. Chapters on the history of interpreting facial expressions, and on Darwin's contributions, set the stage for a thorough discussion of modern evolutionary theory and the biological, cultural, and developmental origins of our facial expressions. The incorporation of recent findings on the syntactics and semantics of animal signaling show the fundamental link of human facial expressions to vocalization and language.

Key Features

@introbul:Key Features @bul:* Coverage includes methodology in evolutionary research

  • Introductory discussion of facial nerves and muscles
  • Compares and contrasts emotion vs. behavioral ecology views of facial expressions
  • Cross-cultural analysis of similarities and differences in facial expressions
  • Reviews paralanguage and gesture


Research professionals, academics, and students in social psychology, personality psychophysiology, and evolutionary psychology; anthropologists and sociologists.

Table of Contents

Pre-Darwinian Views on Facial Expression. Darwin's Anti-Darwinism in Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Facial Expression and the Methods of Contemporary Evolutionary Research. Mechanisms for the Evolution of Facial Expressions. Facial Hardware: The Nerves and Muscles of the Face. Facial Reflexes and the Ontogeny of Facial Displays. Emotions versus Behavioral Ecology Views of Facial Expression: Theory and Concepts. Emotions versus Behavioral Ecology Views of Facial Expression: The State of the Evidence. Introduction: Cross-Cultural Studies of Facial Expressions of Emotion. Is There Universal Recognition of Emotion from Facial Expression? A Review of Cross-Cultural Studies, by James A. Russell. How Do We Account for Both Universal and Regional Variations in Facial Expressions of Emotion? Facial Paralanguage and Gesture. Epilogue: The Study of Facial Displays--Where Do We Go from Here? References. Author Index. Subject Index.


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© Academic Press 1994
Academic Press
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About the Author

Alan Fridlund

Affiliations and Expertise

University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.


@qu:" excellent advanced text. It includes an astute discussion of Darwin's work on emotional facial expression and how it is often misunderstood, an in-depth consideration of the implications of contemporary evolutionary theory for understanding facial expression, and basic information about the neuropsychology of the face... thorough and accessible... difficult points are often clarified and extended through the effective use of footnotes and figures. Beyond serving as the main text for courses on facial expression, I believe the volume is suitable as a supplementary text for more general courses on nonverbal communication or evolutionary science...highly interesting. I am quite enthusiastic about the presentation of the behavioral ecology approach, which I find to be highly sophisticated and compelling... this perspective represents a theoretical advance that gives students of facial expression much to ponder. I believe that the position Fridlund has advanced is important and thought provoking, and that it should be carefully studied by all serious scholars of facial expression and emotion. If we take Fridlund's ideas seriously, and incorporate them into ourthinking as appropriate, our theories will benefit greatly." @source:--Craig A. Smith, in CONTEMPORARY PSYCHOLOGY @qu:"This text presents an almost perfect overview and meta-analysis of the state of the art and beyond. It covers the historical, logical, methodological, biological and psychological bases of extant research on facial expression, and proposes a new theoryand a host of derived hypotheses and ways to test them...The book is a profoundly scholarly review with an illuminating prospect. It is a must for all interested in communication, especially those involved in research on human interaction. It is up to date, richly and well illustrated, written with exceptionally clear language and logic, and particularly penetrating and disturb