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Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life (Anglais) Broché – mars 2004


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75 internautes sur 76 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Grief, anger, fear, surpise, joy and disgust 17 septembre 2005
Par Mark Mills - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Everyone has an understanding of emotion, but few people agree on what the word really means. For example, how is 'emotion' differentiated from 'feeling'? Are emotion and logic independent? This book should help you explore these questions.

Ekman starts with arguments for the universality of emotional display. All humans produce the same facial displays when engaged in a moment of anger or sadness. Reactive displays are generally 'honest' but fleeting. All socially adept humans have learned to disguise their emotional displays. Sometimes a high-speed camera is required to capture and 'freeze' the initial 'true' display. Given the difficulty of 'real time' determination of an emotional display's meaning, Ekman standardizes his approach on a suitably literal plane. For example, the raise eyebrow means 'X' in 'Y' percent of the population, but only 'Z' percent recognize it.

Here is an outline of characteristics Ekman uses to define emotions:

1. Emotions are experienced as feelings, a set of sensations that we experience and often are aware of.

2. An emotional episode can be brief (less than a second to several seconds). If it is longer, it is a mood

3. It is about something that matters to the person

4. We experience them as happening to us, they are not chosen.

5. We are constantly scanning our environment. Emotional responses are automatic reactions to these perceptions. In this sense, emotions are an 'early warning system'.

6. Refractory periods exist after the emotional response. During this refractory period, only perceptions that supports the emotional response is considered.

7. The refractory period may last a few minutes or much longer

8. We generally become aware of an emotion only after our attention begins to review it in the past tense.

9. There are universal emotional themes. We become emotional about matters that were relevant to our ancestors as well as ones we have found to matter in our own lives.

10. The desire to experience or not experience an emotion motivates much of behavior.

11. An efficient signal, clear, rapid and universal, informs those that witness the display. The knowledge gained makes social cooperation possible.

All of this background information takes up the first 4 chapters. Many readers will find this an unnecessary delay. Much of this material seems to wander about in politically correct debates about 'why we can't all be nice', or 'can education ban anger?'.

Many will find this clueless and banal, but there is a lot of useful material mixed in. Take the time to suffer through it.

The curious hand ringing over the 'value' of anger is a testimony to stifling academic conformity on US colleges. Ekman is arguing there is a genetic componet to emotional IQ. The thesis is politically incorrect and sure to ruin a promising academic career. I decided the author had to demonstrate his touchy-feely sensitivity so the academic 'children are blank slates' mob wouldn't hang him.

Finally, on page 97, almost half way through the book, we get to the material most readers were looking for when they pulled the book off the shelf: reading emotional states from facial expression: The first lesson is on 'Sadness and agony.' The following chapter addresses 'Anger.' In all, Ekman describes 6 emotions:

1. Grief, sadness

2. Anger

3. Surprise

4. Contentment, Enjoyment, sensory pleasures:

5. Fear

6. Disgust, contempt

Ekman apologizes for avoiding any discussion of

1. Envy

2. Guilt, shame and embarrassment.

While exploring these emotions, Ekman uses the following format:

1. A general description of the emotion

2. A paragraph or two inviting the reader to 'make the face as a method of experiencing the emotion)

3. A longer section, with photos and discussion of muscular mechanics, suggesting ways to recognize the facial displays associated with the emotion.

4. A page or two on using the skill. This is always a description of an interaction with a boss. I didn't find these very useful.

There seems to be a fundamental distinction between sadness and anger, one drives out the other. Most people have heard of the 'fight/flight' dichotomy, but it turns out fight/flight emotions are very easily represented in the face simultaneously. Sadness-Anger is a more telling distinction. They don't coexist simultaneously. One's emotions can swing from sadness to anger, and back, sometimes fairly quickly, but they don't show up on the face at the same time.

The stark differences between the two, combined with the universality of expression, suggest expression and emotion are inextricably linked. The author suggests making the expression of anger and/or sadness because making the expression produced the experience of that emotion. Combine this with the fact that anger begets anger (both in the emotional individual and those that observe the sign) and sadness begets sadness and ultimately depression, and one can see that not only is the 'expression' the emotion, but the expression can drive the emotion. Additionally, we respond entirely differently to sadness and anger. When we see an expression of sadness, almost all are moved to comfort the sad individual. This feeling is so strong that just looking at a photograph of a sad individual, particularly a familiar individual, elicits strong experiences of sadness in oneself. When anger is expressed 'in the flesh', we may become enraged ourselves. On the other hand, a photograph of rage rarely elicits rage all by itself. For example, you can go to a tearjerker at the theatre and expect 50% of the crowd to be awash in tears. A still photo of rage almost never elicits rage. The viewer must know the individual's context in great detail to respond with rage. On the other hand, people can be talked into rage (see mob behavior) with relatively little difficulty.

Highly recommended.
122 internautes sur 129 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting science, but poorly organized and written. 28 avril 2004
Par Christian Hunter - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Who isn't captivated by the unspoken language of expression. Very few in science today would dispute that non-verbal expression contributes a signficant amount of "information rate transfer" in every human to human exchange.
That's why I ordered this book. I was curious to know how the mechanics of non-verbal expression (manifested in the face) generally worked. Paul Ekman has been at the forefront of this research since the mid-sixties. Before ordering, I spent some time at his site (of same name as the book) and was impressed enough to do what the site pushes you to do: order the book...
I was mildly dissapointed. While the book has plenty of interesting factoids, from the beginning it felt way overwritten. Almost like the author had a 24 page lesson plan and decided to stretch it out to 240 pages. In my opinion, there is allot of "fluff". Granted, some may be interested in reading 20 pages about the fact that emotions are nature (vs. nurture) across all cultures...well, that was hotly debated 20 years ago, now it's generally accepted as fact...move on.
The meat of my issue with the book is that it should have been a lesson plan. My favorite part of the book is at the end when there are 14 pages of faces with barely registered emotion on them that you have to discern the meaning in. I wanted that throughout the book.
If you have a particular fascination with this subject, I'd recommend ordering the CD's and using the interactive lesson plan. Skip the book.
Hope this was helpful.
107 internautes sur 119 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Darwin Update 22 avril 2003
Par Randall P. Harrison - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Charles Darwin wrote a book called "Expression of Emotions in Man and Animal." It was an overnight best seller when it came out a century and a half ago. But by the 1950s, Darwin's view -- that emotions have an important evolutionary base -- was in eclipse. Psychologists and anthropologists (like Margaret Mead) thought facial expressions of emotion were a product of culture.
Paul Ekman rescued Darwin's contribution with his own research in primitive areas of the world. Like Darwin and his voyage of the Beagle, Ekman took a hard look at actual data. And he's been looking ever since.
Today, Ekman is a world class expert on face and emotion. Probably THE world class expert. For instance, when the Dalai Lama wanted to know about modern research on emotion, Ekman was one of a handful of experts flown to India to give the Dalai Lama a five-day, one-on-one seminar. (See Dan Goleman's book "Destructive Emotions.")
Unlike the Dalai Lama, Ekman is not a Buddhist. But if he were it would be tempting to believe he is this generation's reincarnation of Charles Darwin. Again and again, reviewers comment "Not since Darwin..."
Ekman's current book may not turn out to be the immediate best selling blockbuster that Darwin's book was. But it certainly deserves a wide audience. It's an excellent summary of what is known about the face and feeling today. It lets the reader look over the shoulder of an active researcher. You see work in progress -- and get a peak into the future.
In short, anyone interested in understanding their own feelings -- and the feelings of others -- will find this book a readable, useful and fascinating journey. The emotions are a world be meet face-to-face every day -- yet for most of us this realm remains a mystery. This book provides a valuable roadmap.
39 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Get the training CDs as well! 7 janvier 2004
Par Wernie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The book is outstanding but you should definitely get the 2 TRAINING CDs on microexpressions, available from the website of the same name as the book.
59 internautes sur 66 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not a lot of useful information 2 mars 2004
Par Jennifer Bell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I got this book after reading Malcolm Gladwell's lovely New Yorker piece on Paul Ekman. I was looking for an accessable introduction to FACS, Ekman's facial coding system, but this book wasn't it. Emotions Revealed is perhaps too accessable, with copious fluff and very little real content.
After an introduction to Ekmans work, the book is divided into chapters on each emotion. Each chapter is further subdivided into: 1) anecdotes about people feeling emotions (useless), 2) at most two pages on the facial expression associated with the emotion (the meat, if you will), 3) speculation on why you might feel the emotion (useless), and 4) suggestions on how to react if you see this emotion on others (situation dependant & therefore useless).
Ekman's strength is in the clinical study of facial expression, not in writing anecdotal psychobabble. Skip this book if you already know the gist of his work.
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