I just discovered this article questioning the universality of innate emotions.
"Contrary to what many psychological scientists think, people do not all have the same set of biologically "basic" emotions, and those emotions are not automatically expressed on the faces of those around us"
"The commonly-held belief is that certain facial muscle movements (called expressions) evolved to express certain mental states and prepare the body to react in stereotyped ways to certain situations."
"but there's no evidence, for example, that a certain emotion usually produces the same physical changes each time it is experienced, Barrett says. "There's tremendous variety in what people do and what their bodies and faces do in anger or sadness or in fear,""
"Barrett says. "There's a lot of evidence that there is no signature for fear or anger or sadness that you could detect in another person. If you want to improve your accuracy in reading emotion in another person, you have to also take the context into account.""
"Barrett says, psychologists should work on understanding how people vary in expressing their emotions."
This makes me wonder about the validity of Simon Baron-Cohen's eye test. This test uses pictures of only the eyes of people to recognize emotions. This test is supposed to discriminate persons with Asperger Syndrome form so called neurotypicals.
When I did take this test myself, I scored about half way in the middle between NTs and Aspies, even though I have no problem to understand people's emotions from entire faces. I also know of Aspies, who scored the same as NTs, and I have been wondering about the validity of the test. Others have also doubted this validity.
Reading the above cited research, I am again wondering, if indeed there can be an innate skill, by which every person looking at a picture of only a pair of eyes can really notice the same emotions?
Here is the link to the test. http://glennrowe.net/BaronCohen/Faces/EyesTest.aspx
I curious, how others experience this test.
Are the expression of these pictures really so unambiguous?