JNB Volume 1 Issue 1 Fall 1976

Lee, Randolph M. 1976. Editorial. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1(1): 3-5.

During the past few years, scientific interest in and attention to the nonverbal components of human behavior and the relationship of human being to their physical environment and literally mushroomed. Empirical recognition of the potency of environmental and nonverbal influences on human social behavior, combined with highly sophisticated methodological and technological developments, has facilitated and tremendously encouraged this research. While still nascent in many ways, our understanding of these influences is increasing rapidly, and the both of scientific literature addressed to these concerns is substantial. (Lee 1976: 3)
Notice that it's not "nonverbal behavior" but "nonverbal components of human behavior". The "environmental" influences are what pushes me to read (at least) the first issue during the semester - it can help me overcome the semiotics of the city.
This diversity has created a proliferation of substantial work which has been published in scattered and piecemeal form in a variety of professional journals, making inter- and often intra-professional communication difficult, and therefore minimizing the utility and recognition of important efforts. It is our hope that the journal will help facilitate such communication. (Lee 1976: 3)
Yup. Before a special journal for it, studies of nonverbal behaviour were published all over the place - and to a degree still are.
With the exception and proxemics - originally Edward T. Hall's term for the human use of space - many researchers have intuitively separated the purview of environmental from nonverbal influences on human behavior while recognizing the interdisciplinary quality of both. It was our view that this is in many ways a misleading and unfortunately dichotomization. Certainly a difference can be articulated, in that nonverbal research more directly concerns person-to-person relations and environmental research concerns person-environment relations, but beyond this, it is often along nonverbal dimensions that the physical environment influences behavior, and it is frequently contextual and environmental influences which significantly mediate nonverbal behavior patterns. There is much to be gained by considering environmental and nonverbal influences in human behavior as conceptually closer than has often been the case. (Lee 1976: 3-4)
Kinesics and physical environment? These are certainly important considerations. The environmental influence is certainly not insignificant - the organization of space has its effects upon the organization of human behaviour in that space.
[...] the journal seeks contributions to our scientific understanding of such areas as proxemics, kinesics, facial behavior, paralanguage, crowding, environmental perception, behavioral ecology, design impact, and the building environment. (Lee 1976: 4)
I suspect that "behavioral ecology" is a cousing of "environmental psychology".

Argyle, Michael and Jean Ann Graham 1976. The central Europe experiment: Looking at persons and looking at objects. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1(1): 6-16.

In our thinking about the processes underlying social interaction we have come to believe that gaze at other persons (P-gaze) is of central importance. In the social skill model, gaze is one of the main ways of collecting feedback on another person's nonverbal responses (Argyle & Kendon, 1967). We have found that gaze also acts as a signal, for example emphasizing parts of an utterance, and is one of the signals controlling teh synchronization of speech (Argyle, Ingham, Alkema, & McCollin, 1973). (Argyle & Graham 1976: 6)
If gaze at other people is P-gaze, is gaze at objects O-gaze and at background B-gaze? [The answer: yes.] The feedback aspect is self-evident: you can't hear the feedback just as well (except in cases of strepitation). Emphasis and synchronization are also important, I imagine.
However, in an observational study of interactions between sales staff and customers in a department store, we found that a large proportion of gaze was directed towards the objects under discussion (Argyle, Lalljee, & Lydall, Note 1). (Argyle & Graham 1976: 7)
It may be because the sales staff doesn't constitute a completely valid conversation partner. The staff plays a role - they are there to help you make the purchase. So it would indeed stand to reason that in that situation you looked more at the objects.
There are at least two reasons for looking at the background: because it is interesting and attracts attention, and because there is avoidance of too much P-gaze. Studies of eye-movements, by Yarbus (1967) and others, have shown how a rapid cycle of fixations develops, and how the eye is drawn towards interesting and striking stimuli. If the eye is drawn to one set of stimuli, e.g., the background, if follows that gaze at other stimuli, e.g., the other person, will be correspondingly reduced. (Argyle & Graham 1976: 7)
We look at something interesting in the background, but we also look at something in the background so as to not look at the other person too much.
The selling study referred to above showed that objects under discussion, or otherwise relevant to the interaction, can attract much visual attention. In many social situations, such as working with others, it is necessary to monitor both persons and objects (Argyle, 1972). In such situations people are performing a double skill, in which they have to monitor and respond to feedback from both sources. Their gaze is therefore divided beween persons and objects, and P-gaze would be expected to be correspondingly reduced. (Argyle & Graham 1976: 7)
A broader view is necessary - one that would consider communication not as a pure act of communication, but as a side-factor to other practical activities. That is, one should consider communication systems wherein communication itself is not the dominant function in the hierarchy.
When a relevant object is complex, it would be expected to attract more O-gaze, since there is more information to be processed and more possible fixation points. (Argyle & Graham 1976: 7)
Perfectly reasonable. At a conference of late, an older man sat in front of the audience, next to the speaker, and was made extremely uncomfortable by the amount of P-gaze he attracted. When the presenter-speaker introduced slideshows with complex graphics, the amount of P-gaze he gained was reduced, but he also had to move slightly out of the way.
There is avoidance of looking too much at the other person, but not at objects.
Similar considerations apply to length of P-glances. Research on individual differences in gaze has found that glances are shorter in schizophrenics (Rutter & Stephenson, 1972); this is presumably due to strong avoidance forces, perhaps due to higher levels of arousal, in these groups. (Argyle & Graham 1976: 8)
I'd say that there are significant differences in avoidance forces under the influence of various subjects. For example, alcohol may relax avoidance forces (referred to as the "courage" aspect of alcohol consumption) while psilocybin increases avoidance forces, exactly because of the high levels of arousal.
There is evidence of forces to avoid too much P-gaze: the highest level reached by P-gaze, when there was very little else to look at, was 76.6%; the highest level reached by O-gaze was 91.9%, where there was competition from both the other person and the background. Similarly, the longest P-glance found were 8.0 seconds while the longest O-glances were 24.3 seconds. (Argyle & Graham 1976: 15)
8.0 seconds debunks the 9gag image that states that anyone who looks at you more than 6 seconds either wants to bone you or murder you.
Why is visual attention so easily drawn away from the other person to the object, in view of the important functions found to be played by P-gaze? One explanation could be that the object contained more information than the other person. However, this was certainly not the case with our simple object, which contained almost no information at all, and what it did contain was very familiar information. Another possibility is that the simple map helped the thinking and planning process even though it contained little information. This would entail postulating some new function of gaze in addition to information-seeking. Anether explanation can be offered in terms of the approach-avoidance model of gaze (Argyle & Dean, 1965). If the level of P-gaze depends on a balance of approach and avoidance forces, a small increase in avoidance forces (including counter-attractions) could produce a large drop in amount of gaze. (Argyle & Graham 1976: 15)
This new function of gaze is not actually that new. It could be tied with the discourse on "cognitive offloading". Objects do help cognitive processes. In this case planning a holiday in central Europe is greatly helped by the mere contours of the countries. There is little information in the contoured map, but enough to support planning, recalling various aspects of different countries, etc.

Kaplan, Kalman J. and Carl I. Greenberg 1976. Regulation of interaction through architecture, travel, and telecommunication: A distance-equilibrium approach to environmental planning. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1(1): 17-29.

Central to the seemingly disparate fields of environmental planning involving architecture, travel, and telecommunication is the concept of interpersonal distance, or specifically, the way in which the intensity of interaction between people is regulated. Environmental psychology has traditionally focused on aspects of this phenomenon (e.g., the research on crowding, personal space, and privacy). However, all these models have dealt exclusively with physical distance in face-to-face interaction. (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 17)
The intensity of interaction is exactly the reason why I don't voluntarily partake of MSN, FB-chat or any online instant chat. I don't very much enjoy the fact that one has to be completely invested in this procedure while engaging with it. In reading finished texts (such as e-mail), one can pause and resume, while instant chat demands constant monitoring and takes up too much attention (or cognitive resources).
A delineation of interpersonal distancing behaviors can be seen in the now classic work of Edward Hall (1963). According to Hall, physical interaction proximity, amount of touching, amount of detectable body heat, amount of detectable body odor, amount of visual contact, directness of body orientation, and loudness of speaking each serve to demarcate interaction intimacy. Specifically, moves toward greater interpersonal intimacy or immediacy (i.e., approach behavior) would be indicated by close physical proximity, more direct body orientation, greater forwardness of body lean, higher amounts of touching, detectable body heat and odor, looking and talking, especially in a loud voice, and conversations about intimate topics. Moves toward interpersonal remoteness or avoidance (i.e., withdrawal behavior) would be indicated by the opposite values on these modalities. (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 18)
It could even be said that these factors regulate interaction intimacy. This is yet another aspect that should be included in a more thorough model of communication than the existing ones. I think it is very much related to the "channel" and "phatic function" of Jakobson's model. In other words, it is related to the "tension" between the sender and receiver.
A more integrative approach to these various "distancing" variables is provided by Argyle and Dean's (1965) distance equilibrium theory. In essence the theory states: (1) there exist approach and avoidance forces underlying interpersonal distancing responses; (2) the approach-avoidance crossover point signals the distance or intimacy equilibrium point for a given individual with another; (3) distance is multidetermined, represented by the modalities discussed previously; (4) a disruption in the equilibrium point by one modality (e.g., interaction proximity) requires compensating adjustments in another (e.g., eye contact) to restore equilibrium. In short, the total pressure in the system, while remaining constant, can be differentially distributed (Patterson, 1973) across modalities. (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 18)
This too, is related with the "channel". Instead of "tension" here there is "pressure" or "force".
A common therad among architecture, travel, and telecommunication is that each can be employed as a regulator of one or more components of interaction distance. First, let us look at the way architecture can be used to regulate interaction distance. (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 19)
I cannot help but notice that they are using Ekman and Friesen's concept, but in a weird and unexpected manner. This concerns regulation of the channel component, or "medium" in Ruesch's questions.
Architectural designs of living quarters also appear to have differential effects of crodwing perceptions and inetraction behaviors. As demonstrated by Baum and his associates (e.g., Baum, Harpin, & Valins, 1975; Valins & Baum, 1973), students who reside in corridor-design dormitories had lower tresholds to perceived crowding, avoided interactions with friends and strangers to a great extent, and in general showed more behaviors designed to reduce unwanted social interaction than did students who resided in suite-design dormitories. Even the modification of exterior design factors (e.g., height of residential dwelling) can alter residents' perception of their territorial responsibilities (Newman, 1972) and overall satisfaction with their living environment (Greenberg & Greenberg, Note 4). (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 21)
This concerns me personally, as I happen to live in a corridor-design dormitory.
Table 1 summarizes this issue by viewing any telecommunication channel as a filter on the transmission of sensory modalities. Face-to-face interaction can be viewed as the most communication-rich (i.e., highest bandwidth) channel for communication. No artificial telechannel mediates the interaction between the interactants. As such, all cues are transmitted between people whether they are proxemic, kinesic, paralinguistic, or linguistic. This, of course, assumes sensory wholeness on the part of all of the interactants, which itself provides a useful metaphor. Compared to face-to-face interactions, all remaining communication channels fail to transmit some or all of the nonverbal modalities. The amount transmitted decreases with decreasing communication richness (i.e., bandwidth). (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 23)
So much channel reliance! "Sensory wholeness" on the other hand is indeed a useful metaphor.
The value of this approach for our present purposes is that it enables us to conceptualize crowding in broader terms than proxemic oversaturations. One can be "crowded" on kinesic, paralinguistic, and linguistic modalities as well. The channels presented in Table 1 form a Guttman scale. That is, a communication channel that allows proxemic cues will also allow kinesic, paralinguistic, and linguistic cues. In other words, high bandwidth channels, by their very nature, must transmit proxemic or kinesic cues. Lower bandwidth channels will transmit only linguistic and perhaps paralinguistic cues. (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 26)
This could benefit the "getting peopled out" aspect.
What such an extension means is that a person may feel as crowded by one other person as by many. The issue again is one of distribution. One has only so much intimacy to give, and if he spends it all on one partner he will have nothing left for others. Alternatively, he might manage a large number of superficial simultaneous interactions with others. (Kaplan & Greenberg 1976: 27)
Reminds me of the "spoons" theory as well as Phoebe Caldwell's "getting peopled out".

Karlin, Robert A., Dianne McFarland, John R. Aiello and Yakov M. Epstein 1976. Normative mediation of reactions to crowding. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1(1): 30-40.

In studies of short-term crowding involving spatial restriction, males generally react more negatively when crowded while females react more positivel. Epstein and Karlin (1975) propose a two-factor model to explain the differential reactions of males and females to crowding. They suggest that crowding produces arousal. In response to this arousal, individuals will either leave the situation or engage in behaviors that can be interpreted as responses to stress. In stressful situations there are societal norms that allow women to interact with each other and to some degree to share their distress but prohibit men from deing so (cf. Kagan, 1964). (Karlin et al. 1976: 30-31)
This is generally well known, but the aspect of societal norms is often left out. This is a score for masculinism, e.g. how men, too, are oppressed by society.
Epstein and Karlin (1975) suggested that sex specific responses to crowding were the product of the differential group processes that occur in male and female groups Males do not interact with each other in stressful situations, and this results in an individualistic orientation in male crowded groups. Females, on the other hand, do interact and share their distress with each other, and thus a cooperative orientation emerges among them. (Karlin et al. 1976: 31)
At the core of the matter is the notion that it is not "manly" to express your distress. Boys don't cry and men don't talk to each other about things that make them feel uncomfortable.
Marshall and Heslin (1975) found a reversal of the usual sex differences in response to crowding. In the high density condition, men liked each other more and women liked each other less than did their noncrowded counterparts. However, Marshall and Heslin noted that successful task performance in this experiment depended upon the formation of an achievement-oriented team among the subjects in each group. They suggested that the task
both drew the dense condition males together by restructuring the close proximity to mean "team" and drove the females apart by depriving them of a warm intimate setting and substituting a structure that required a focus on leadership and achievement, making the close proximity uncomfortable for them. (p. 958)
While Marshall and Heslin's results seem, at first, at variance with those of other studies, they are in fact quite consistent with the position suggested above. (Karlin et al. 1976: 32)
That is, the situation is reverse when there is a task at hand. Then men can view themselves as a "team" and cooperate as such.
While no differences emerged from the behavioral measures, the self-report data are consistent with the hypotheses. There was a clear increase in attraction to the group in the high interaction condition, while subjects in the low interaction condition were less attracted to their group. The effects of the change in interaction level in terms of evaluation of the crowded environment were also clear. Subjects in the high interaction condition were more positive about the environment. Here one item is of specific interest. Despite the fact that room size and group size were constant, manipulation of interaction levels significantly altered the perception of crowding. Finally, a similar pattern characterized the way subjects felt in the small room. Subjects experiencing high levels of interaction felt more positive, while subjects experiencing low levels of interaction were most negative. (Karlin et al. 1976: 38)
Interaction is a stress-reliever. In a recent performance art act, Shia Lebeouf sat in a room by himself, with earbuds in and not talking. People were freaked out. Phatic communication is a necessary component in social interaction.
In the Baum and Valins situation the problem is different. Restricted space is not the issue. Rather, there is congestion (a shortage of resources resulting in the encountering of others when one desires to avoid them) and an insufficient degree of privacy. Both these situations are affected by the norms governing interaction in the crowded environment. (Karlin et al. 1976: 39)
Yup. Lack of privacy is a problem in corridor-type dormitories. Communal bathroom is the main problem here, as you have to share your business with others. E.g. there is not only a common bathroom but it acts as a sort of echo-chamber and doing business results in strepitative communication.

McCauley, Clark and James Taylor 1976. Is there overload of acquaintances in the city?. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1(1): 41-55.

City people, compared to small-town people, are thought to be impolite, untrusting, unhelpful, impersonal, and uncaring in their relations with others (Foa, 1971). In a paper entitled "The Experience of Living in Cities," Milgram (1970) suggested that the quality of social interaction in the city can be understood as adaption to an overload of interpersonal contacts in the city. According to the overload hypothesis, social interaction in the city is impoverished because city dwellers need to reduce the number, duration, and intensity of interpersonal contacts. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 41)
#linnasemiootika. This impression of city people can be found in fiction as well, e.g. Oskar Luts, Õpilane Valter (1927): "Sammus puiesteel, siis istus pingile; ning huvitas teda linlaste viimnegi eluavaldus ja hämmastas see ükskõiksus, millega toimisid linlased ise. Nad justkui ei märganudki, et liikusid ja askeldasid ohal, kus oli nii võrratult palju vaatamisväärivat." (1927: 30; emphasis added).
The overload hypothesis originated with sociologist Georg Simmel (1903/1950). Simmel argued that urban populations suffer from too much stimulation, especially stimulation from other people, and that city dwellers must maintain more superficial relations with others in order to conserve psychic energy. Milgram (1970) amplified Simmel's idea by reference to Miller's (1961) general theory of information overload. According to this theory, any system threatened with overload must employ some strategy to reduce the number, duration, or intensity of its inputs. Thus the superficial social interaction in the city may be seen as successful adaption, rather than as pathological reaction to urban stress (Glass & Singer, 1972; Griffin & Veitch, 1971) or as deindividuation (Zimbardo, 1969). The overload hypothesis is particularly interesting in that crowding is defined as interaction density - a psychological variable - rather than as simple physical density. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 41-42)
Good to know where this notion originates from. The bit about system overload is basically that of cognitive gaiting or selection/filtering.
Three limitations became immediately apparent. First, people have great difficulty in recalling contacts any further in the past than their yesterdays. Second, people do not recall contacts with individuals not known by name: busdrivers, cashiers, doormen, secretaries, and so on. Such contacts are very seldom recalled spontaneously, and appear to be so routinized that they might better be described as interfunctional contacts, rather than as interpersonal contacts. Third, people cannot recall conversations with members of their own households. People do remember spending a certain amount of time in the same houseor apartment with parents, wife, or children, and they remember that they talked with these family members. But they do not recall discrete conversations [...] (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 42)
"Interfunctional contact" is a good term. I justify my not saying "Hello" to some people on the basis that I don't welcome people whose name I don't know or who are not interfunctional contacts like the dorm front desk people or caretakers when they enter my room.
Table 9 shows a weak trend for city respondents to feel, more often than town residents, too busy to talk to people encountered. There is no statistically significant difference in results for Montreal and SMdeB, however, and it is safe to conclude at least that city people are not greatly overloaded in finding time to speak to those encountered by chance. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 51)
Thus, the overload issue is not as one-sided as it could be. It may be that in cities, people are indeed just more buzy, but do find time to be intimate with their friends and acquaintances in chance encounters.
Contacts with acquaintances were fewer but longer in the city, and did not differ from town contacts in intimacy of topic or intimacy of relation with contact. Nor did city people feel overloaded, compared with town people. Feelings of having too many friends, or friends not intimate enough, or no time to talk to acquaintances encountered by chance, or a long time since last important personal conversation - these feelings were not recognized by city respondents any more than by town respondents. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 52)
As a city-dweller, I find this encouraging.
The more frequent but shorter acquaintance contacts in the small town might seem to indicate that it is small-town people who are overloaded with interpersonal contacts. Militating against this conclusion, however, is the fact that no difference in the intimacy of contacts was found for city and town. If overload were operating in the small town, less intimacy of topic or less intimacy of relation with contact should have been found in the town. A more likely interpretation of the storter but more frequent acquaintance contacts in the town is simply that the geographic proximity of acquaintances in the small town makes contact with acquaintances easier and more probable. Then there is less to say to contacts seen more frequently, so the duration of town contacts is less. In contrast to the town, contacts in the city are apt to be less easy and spontaneous, more planned and less frequent, and with more to say when they occur. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 52)
I find this reasonable. But the study did not address my concerns, which have to do with the overload of acquaintances in a medium-sized city (of 100 - 300 thousand inhabitants).
The overload hypothesis is more directly supported by a study indicating that city people avoid eye contact with strangers. McCauley and Newman (in press) began with the observation that to meet a person's eye is to open a channel of communication with that person (Argyle & Dean, 1965; Goffman, 1963; Rubin, 1973). If city people are attempting to reduce the number and intensity of contacts with strangers, then city people should be less likely to make eye contact with a stranger. This overload prediction was supported by the dataof the McCauley and Newman study: City people were much less likely than small-town people to meet a stranger's eye. City people were also less likely to speak to a stranger. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 53)
Yeap, eye contact does carry the "phatic" or channel-opening function in the nonverbal realm.
Milgram's (1970) overload hypothesis of the experience of living in cities must now be reconceptualized. IN suggesting a condition of interpersonal overload in the city, Milgram did not differentiate among different types of interpersonal contact. Recent studies indicate that differentiation is required. It is too simple to say that city people are overloaded; city people are overloaded in some kinds of contact and not in others. The present study indicates that city people are not overloaded with contacts with friends and acquaintances, but the studies by McCauley and Newman (in press) and by Valins and Baum (1973) together indicate that city people are overloaded with contacts with strangers. (McCauley & Taylor 1976: 54)
This much we actually know: there are more strangers in the city.

Ekman, Paul and Wallace V. Friesen 1976. Measuring facial movement. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 1(1): 56-75.

This article reports a new method of describing facial movement based on an anatomical analysis of facial action. Most research on facial behavior has not measured the face itself, but instead has measured the information that observers were able to infer from the face. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 56)
That is, it is a continuation of Duchenne's paradigm.
Are certain facial actions inhibited in certain social settings? Which facial movements punctuate conversation, etc.? (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 57)
These are the questions involving regulations or regulative function, social control, metacommunication and the mu-function.
Our primary goal in developing the Facial Action Code (FAC) was to develop a comprehensive system which could distinguish all possible visually distinguishable facial movements. Most other investigators developed their method just to desribe the particular sample of behavior they were studying. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 58)
Thus, the dystopian TACS (Total Action Coding System) should be comprehensive in distinguishing all possible visually distinguishable body movements. The dystopian aspect comes from it not being a mere research tool but a tool of social control - linked with CCTV, it would mean that all people in every public space were constantly monitored by a computerized system.
With comprehensiveness as our goal it was necessary to built the system free of any theoretical bias about the possible meaning of facial behaviors. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 58)
That is, paradoxically, the Facial Action Code is not semiotic in itself, or at least not in the conventional sense.
We chose to derive FAC from an analysis of the anatomical basis of facial movement. Since every facial movement is the result of muscular action, a comprehensive system could be obtained by discovering how ecah muscle of the face acts to change visible appearance. With that knowledge it would be possible to analyze any facial movement into anatomically based minimal action units. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 58-59)
Thus, theoretically there is nothing in the way of establishing a Total Action Code. Every muscle, joint, bone and tendon of the human body should be accounted for, but that is not impossible.
And, of course, there might be some investigators who, like us, would want to measure not just some facial behavior, but all possible movement they could observe. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 59)
Comprehensiveness gives way to totalness.
In part, the constraint of dealing only with the visible was based on our interest in a method which could be applied to any record of behavior - photographic, film or video - taken by anyone. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 59)
Even CCTV.
Another limitation was that FAC would deal with movements, not with other visible facial phenomena. These other facial signs would be important to a full understanding of the psychology of facial behavior, but their study requires a different methodology. (Elsewhere [Ekman, Note 4] we have distinguished a variety of static and slow facial signs contrasting the type of information they may contain with rapid facial movement.) (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 60)
Movement is also easier to systematize or computerize, as movement implies an influx of data that can be scrutinized.
Changes in skin coloration are not usually visibleon black and white records. Facial sweating, tears, rashes, pimples, and permanent facial characteristics, were all excluded from FAC. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 60)
Aren't most security cameras black and white and low quality?
We are interested in determining which facial behavior is playful, or puzzled, or sad, but such inferences about underlying state, antecedent, or consequent actions should rest upon evidence. The measurement must be made in noninferential terms that describe the facial behavior, so that the inferences can be tested by evidence. Almost all of the previous descriptive systems have combined inference-free descriptions with descriptions confounded with inference: e.g., "aggressive frown" (Grant, 1969); "lower lip pout" (Blurton-Jones, 1971); "smile tight - loose o" (Birdwhistell, 1970). Each of these actions should be described without inferential terms. Since humans make the measurement the possibility of inferences cannot be eliminated, but the need not be encouraged or required. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 61)
In terms of concourse, e.g. "Tom frowned his displeasure," the "displeasure" is an inference about underlying state. Concomitantly, in concourse, one could probably differentiate high and low inference. E.g. "frowned" is low inference, for it specifies a label for the behaviour, but "displeasure" is high inference, for it goes beyond the label and associates it with an underlying state.
Blurton-Jones (1971) noted that facial activity could be described in three ways: the location of shadows and lines; the muscles responsible; or the main positions of landmarks, such as mouth corners or brow location. He opted for the last basis, although he said he used the other two as well. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 61-62)
The literary concourse I'm studying relies mostly on shadows and lines. It may have something to do with how intuitively the can be felt and made into metaphors.
Hjorstjö (1970) provided the most help. An anatomist interested in describing the visible appearance changes for each muscle, Hjorstjö learned to fire his own facial muscles voluntarily. He photographed his own face and described in drawings and words the appearance changes for each muscle. His aim was not to provide a measurement system, and so he did not consider many of the combinations of facial muscles, nor did he provide a set of rules necessary for distinguishing between appearance changes which are in any way similar.
Following Hjorstjö's lead, we spent the better part of a year with a mirror, anatomy texts, and cameras. We learned to fire separately the muscles in our own faces. When we were confident we were firing intended muscles we photographed our faces. Usually there was little doubt as to whether we were firing the intended muscle. The problem istead was how to learn to do it at all. By feeling the surface of our faces we could usually determine whether the intended muscle was contracting. By checking Hjorstjö's account we could see whether the appearance on our faces was what he had described and showed in his drawings. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 63)
Hjortsjö, Carl-Herman, Man's face and mimic language. Lund: Student-litteratur, 1970.
One limitation of this method of deriving facial units must be noted. If there are muscles which cannot be fired voluntarily, we cannot study them. This seems to be the case only with the Tarsalis muscle, and, as best as we can determine, its action and effect on appearance are not different from those of one of the voluntarily controlled muscles, Levator Palpebrae. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 64)
Is this the same muscle that was found to voluntarily movable in a small majority of people? (in 2012)
Note that we call the measurements action, not muscle units. As just explained, this is because a few times we have combined more than one muscle in our unitization of appearance changes. The other reason for using the term action unit is because we also have separated more than one action from what most anatomist describe as one muscle. For example, following Hjorstjö's lead, the Frontalis muscle which raises the brow was separated into two action units, depending upon whether the inner or outer portion of this muscle lifts the inner or outer portions of the eyebrow. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 64)
For my purposes it is invaluable knowledge that the inner and outer portions of the eyebrow can be raised independently.
It is important not to be misled by this example into thinking FAC is designed for scoring still photographs. FAC emphasizes movement, and its chief purpose is to score facial action seen on motion records, although it can be used with stills if there is also a picture of a "neutral" face. (Ekman & Friesen 1976: 73ff)
This is something that should be reminded to Sachchidanand next time he posts a picture on facebook and asks what it shows.


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