Tia Ghose writes: “For decades, scientists have held that there are six basic human emotional expressions, all revealed in the face — happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger and surprise. But about five years ago, Daniel Cordaro, a psychologist at the University of California at Berkeley and Yale University, began wondering if there were more. … To test the idea, Cordaro and his colleagues showed people from four continents a one-line description of a story (which the researchers translated into the various native languages) … When the researchers shared those emotional reenactments with people from foreign cultures, the viewers could match 30 facial and vocal expressions to the associated stories with better accuracy than if they had simply guessed. (Interestingly, expressions of sympathy, desire and coyness didn’t seem to translate across cultures.) … The findings suggest that a vast part of the human emotional repertoire is universal, and that emotional expressions go far deeper than the six basic ones previously described by researchers. But the findings shouldn’t underplay the role of culture, Cordaro said. “Each emotion boils down to a story,” Cordaro said. “Culture teaches us the stories under which we use these emotions, but look underneath them, there will be some theme.””

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