The expression of the emotions in man and animals

Darwin, Charles 1998 [1872]. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. With an introduction, afterword, and commentaries by Paul Ekman. 3rd ed. New York : Oxford University Press, Inc.

Introduction to the Third Edition by Paul Ekman. pp. xxi--xxxvi
We want to touch with our faces those we love; we can bite affectionately - not only humans do this; so do dogs and cats. Pleasure is demonstrated in quite different ways in our domesticated animals, Darwin reminds us: cats purr and rub against us, while dogs lick us and wag their tails. In anger that tail acts quite differently in dogs, cats and horses. These are just a small sample of the fascinating observations Darwin describes in each chapere. (Ekman 1998: xxi)
to bite affectionately - seda kuulutab ka raamatu sleeve ja Ekman vihjab, et sellistele küsimustele leiab siit raamatust "miks?" stiilis vastuseid, kuigi minul sellele vastust leida ei õnnestunud.
The distinction between emotional expressions and gestures has been incorporated in current work on non-verbal communication. While gestures can refer to nearly anything - thoughts, plans, actions, wishes, fantasies, and so forth - the expressions pertain simply to the emotions. Expressions typically involve the face and the voice and, to a much lesser extentm body movement or posture. Darwin focuses most on facial expressions, although he gave some attention to other expressions. (Ekman 1998: xxii)
Väljenduste ja žestide vahel seega selge eristus (esimene seotud emotsioonidega, teine ka kõige muuga). Ma ei ole veel valmis seda eristust rangelt omaks võtma.
There is disagreement today among those who study animal behavior about whether expressions should be considered signs of emotion, related to internal physiological changes. Some maintain that it is more useful to consider the expressions as simply communicative signals, and many studies have done that, describing only what animals do. (In the Afterword I explain why this is a false dichotomy. We don't have to choose whether an expression is part of an emotion or a communicative signal. In reality, it is both.) (Ekman 1998: xxx)
This was Darwin's evidence that expressions are innate, that these signs of our emotions are the product of our evolution and are therefore part of our biology. This was completely incompatible with the reigning dogmas. Watson, the founder of behaviorism, rejected the notion that inheritance played nay part in explaining our social behavior. He claimed that we need only consider what is learned to understand man. Learning, he said, is the only proper focus for psychology. (Ekman 1998: xxxiv)
Today most scientists reject such absolute relativism: nature and nurture both play a role in all human behavior. Emotions are both the product of our evolution, particularly their physiology and expression, and of what we have learned, especially our attempts to manage our emotions, out attitudes about our emotions and our representations of them verbally. THere are still some who disagree - cultural relativist or social constructionists - but they no longer dominate scientific thinking. The intellectual climate has changed; it is now much more hospitable to Darwin's Expressions. (Ekman 1998: xxxv)
The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals
The study of expression is difficult, owing to the movements being often extremely slight, and of a fleeting nature. A difference may be clearly perceived, and yet it may be impossible, at least I have found it so, to state in what the difference consists. When we witness any deep emotion, our sympathy is so strongly excited, that close observation is forgotten or rendered almost impossible; of which fact I have had many curious proofs. Our imagination is another and still more serious source of error; for if from the nature of the circumstances we excpect to see any expression, we readily imagine its presence. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: )
The power of association is admitted by everyone. Mr Bain remarks, that 'actions, sensations, and states of feeling, occurring together or in close succession, tend to grow together, or cohere, in such a way that when any one of them is afterward presented t the mind, the others are apt to be brought up in idea'. It is so important for our purpose fully to recognize that actions readily become associated with other actions and with various states of mind, that I will give a good many instances, in the first place relating to man, and afterwards to the lower animals. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 36-37)
A man when going out of doors puts on his gloves quite unconsciously; and this may seem an extremely simple operation, but he who has taught a child to put on gloves, knows that thisis by no means the case. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 37)
Professor Beer, of Bonn, is said by Lewes (Physical Basis of Mind, 1877, p. 377) to have had the power of contracting or dilating the pupils at will. 'Here ideas act as motors. When he thinks of a very dark space the pupil dilates, when of a very bright spot the pupil contracts.' (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 47)
Man not only uses inarticulate cries, gestures, and expressions, but has invented articulate language; if, indeed, the word invented can be applies to a process, completed by innumerable steps, half-consciously made.(Darwin 1998 [1872]: 63)
Many signs, moreover, which plainly stand in opposition to each other, appear to have had on both sides a significant origin. This seems to hold good with the signs used by the deaf and dumb for light and dark, for strenght and weakness, etc. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 65)
I have described, in the second chapter, the gait and appearance of a dog when cheerful, and the marked antithesis presented by the same animal when dejected and disappointed, with his head, ears, body, tail, and chops drooping, and eyes dull. Under the expectation of any great pleasure, dogs bound and jump about in an extravagant manner, and bark for joy. The tendency to bark under this state of mind is inherited, or runs in the breed; greyhounds rarely bark, whilst the spitx-dog barks so incessantly on starting for a walk with his master that he becomes a nuisance. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 121)
Music has a wonderful power, as I have elsewhere attempted to show, of recalling in a vague and indefinite manner, those strong emotions which were felt during long-past ages, when, as is probable, our early progenitors courted each other by the aid of vocal tones. And as several of our strongest emotions - grief, great joy, love, and sympathy - lead to the free secretion of tears, it is not surprising that music should be apt to cause our eyes to become suffused with tears, especially when we are already softened by any of the tenderer feelings. Music often produces another peculiar effect. We know that every strong sensation, emotion, or excitement - extreme pain, rage, terror, joy, or the passion of love - all have a special tendency to cause the muscles to tremble; and the thrill or slight shiver which runs down the backbone and liombs of many persons when they are powerfully affected by music, seems to bear the same relation to the above trembling of the body, as a slight suffusion of tears the power of music does to weeping from any strong and real emotion. (Darwin 1998 [1872]:216 )
A man may be absorbed in the deepest thought, and his brow will remain smooth until he encounters some obstacles in his train of reasoning, or is interrupted by some disturbance, and then a frown passes like a shadow over his brow. A half-starved man may think intently how to obtain food, but he probably will not frown unless he encounters either in thought or action some difficulty, or finds the food when obtained nauseous. I have noticed that almost everyone instantly frowns if he perceives a strange or bad taste in what he is eating. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 220)
If we have suffered or expected to suffer some wilful injury from a man, or if he is in any way offensive to us, we dislike him; and dislike easily rises into hatred. Such feelings, if experienced in a moderate degree, are not clearly expressed by any movement of the body or features, excepting perhaps by a certain gravity of behaviour, or by some ill-temper. Few individuals, however, can long reflect about a hated person, without feeling and exhibiting signs of indignation or rage. But if the offending person be quire insignificant, we experience merely disdain or contempt. If, on the other hand, he is all-pwerful, then hatred passes into terror, as when a slave thinks about a cruel master, or a savage about a bloodthirsty malignant deity. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 234)
The partial closure of the eyelids, ad Duchenne insists, or the turning away of the eyes or of the whole body, are likewise highly expressive of distain. These actions seem to declare that the despised person is not worth looking at, or is disagreeable to behold. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 251)
Professor Cleland (Evolution, Expression and Sensation, 1881, p. 55) points out that concealment or deceit is expressed by the face being directed downwards, while the eyes are turned upwards. 'The culprit sheltering himself by a lie ... hangs his head over his secret, while he steals upwards glances to see the effect which he distrusts'. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 262)
THe nature of the mental states which include blushing. These consist of shyness, shame, and modesty; the essential element in all being self-attention. Many reasons can be assigned for believing that originally self-attention directed at personal appearance, in relation to the opinion of others, was the exciting cause; the same effect being subsequently produced, through the force of association, by self-attention in relation to moral conduct. It is not the simple act of reflecting on our own appearance, but the thinkning what others think of us, which excites a blush. In absolute solitude the most sensitive person would be quite indifferent about his appearance. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 324)
Strangers neither know nor care anything about our conduct or character, but they may, and often do, criticize our appearance; hence shy persons are particularly apt to be shy and to blush in the presence of strangers. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 327)
If, then, great ignorance of details does not prevent our recognizing with certainty and promtitude various expressions, I do not see how this ignorance can be advanced as an argument that our knowledge, though vague and general, is not innate. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 355)
The relaxation of the small arteries of the surface, on which blushing depends, seems to have primarilt resulted from earnest attention directed to the appearance of our own persons, especially of our faces, aided by habit, inheritance, and the ready flow of nerve-force along accustomed channels; and afterwards to have been extended by the power of association to self-attention directed to moral conduct. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 358)
The movements of expression in the face and body, whatever their origin may have been, are in themselves of much importance for our welfare. They serve as the first means of communication between the mother and her infant; she smiles approval, and thus encourages her child on the right path, or frowns dissaproval. We readily perceive sympathy in other by their expression; our sufferings are thus mitigated and our pleasures increased; and mutual good feeling is thus strenghtened. The movements of expression give vividness and energy to our spoken words. They reveal the thoughts and intentions of others more truly than do words, which may be falsified. (Darwin 1998 [1872]: 359)
  • Margaret Mead's review of Ekman's Darwin book (Journal of Communication, 25, 1975, 205-13)
  • Sight, Sound and Sense, T. Sebeok (ed.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978
  • The Mechanism of Human Facial Expression by G.-B. Duchenne de Boulogne, translated and edited by R. A. Cuthbertson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990


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