When he appears as a Ghost he had a countenance more in sorrow than in anger.(Shakespeare, Hamlet, I.iii.232)
Ursula Hess, Department of Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal. Reginald B. Adams, Jr., Department of Psychology, Tufts University. Robert E. Kleck, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Dartmouth College. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grant from the Fonds de Formation des Chercheurs et l'Aide à la Recherche to Ursula Hess and Robert E. Kleck. We would like to thank Pierre Philippot for his helpful comments on a previous draft and Francois Labelle for the creation of the “aliens.”
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ursula Hess, Department of Psychology, University of Quebec at Montreal, CP 8888, Station A, Montreal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Humans are very sensitive to faces. Faces attract attention and have an important impact on our perception of a social interaction. Faces inform us about the gender, ethnicity, age, and state of health of our interaction partners and also convey information about their likely intelligence, maturity, dominance, sociability, and many other characteristics. In addition, human faces are able to communicate information about the emotions of others. Thus, faces provide us with important hints regarding the behaviors and intentions that we may expect from our interaction partners.
It is interesting that an important aspect of emotional expressions is that they also provide social information to the decoder.