Facial Expressions of Emotions are Not Culturally Universal?

ekman challenge

A recent study has been carried out by Lisa Feldman Barrett that is attempting to gain attention to her work in the field of universality of emotion.

Unfortunately the research efforts were misdirected as they only looked at one aspect of the ability of an isolated Himba tribe in Namibia, South Africa; the ability to recognise emotional expressions.

The outcomes of that study were then used to challenge Paul Ekman’s findings that emotions are universally expressed. There have been over 75 studies that have demonstrated that these very same facial expressions are produced when emotions are elicited spontaneously (Matsumoto, Keltner, Shiota, Frank, & O’Sullivan, 2008). Ironically this was published in the Handbook of Emotions in p215 (2008) – edited by Lisa Feldman Barrett et al.

This is a serious disconnect that good research should have addressed. This seems to have been supported by the rejection of the Namibia study by the respected journal, Science. Barrett reported in July 2013 to Shannon Fischer, in a Boston Magazine interview that “Clearly people don’t give a shit about data, because if they did, I wouldn’t have this battle on my hands.” Maybe the data needs to connect with more relevance to the claims made. Continue reading

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Use Caution When Accepting Deliveries at Home

deliveryWhether you shopped online or are fortunate enough to receive gifts from out of town loved ones, now is not the time to blindly open the door to delivery couriers.

Recently a van pulled into my driveway. I was not expecting anyone. Those who know me know that I “don’t do pop-overs.”  Phone me from the driveway if you must, but don’t just show up at my door unannounced and expect me to answer it.  I work from home and I’m a single parent and 9mm or not, opening the door just isn’t something I freely do.  Call me paranoid, hermit, cautious, whatever – I just don’t do popovers.

Back to the van in my driveway.  As I am a fan of online shopping, so I’m not stranger to delivery vehicles, I wasn’t not expecting anything from a Ryder Cargo Van.

I cautiously looked out the window, okay – covertly looked, to see a man get out, not dressed in any uniform nor any identifying logos.  This was a big flag for me. Meanwhile my gal pal was on the phone and said to me, “Boy when we see a strange Ryder van pull up unexpectedly, we run for cover.”  Nice friend, thanks. I’m already trying to determine who is encroaching on my space and you need to plant that little seed in my head. Continue reading

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Quickie: Check Your Lipstick and Tires

Ladies, we know that it’s just good business to always check our face before going anywhere:  make sure we don’t have lipstick on our teeth or mascara where it doesn’t belong.

More importantly though is getting into the habit of always checking your tires before getting into your vehicle.  There’s a reason airplane pilots and school bus drivers perform a walk-around looking for anything out of the ordinary – to avoid problems once they depart.

With the recent fluctuations in weather temperatures it’s not uncommon for tires to lose air.  If you’re not careful you could find yourself stranded with a flat tire.  Don’t put yourself in a situation where an unscrupulous knight in shining armor has an excuse to stop and help you. While many good Samaritans do exist – it’s naive to think everyone who stops to help only has your best interest at heart.

Checking your lipstick and tires can prevent embarrassment and personal harm.

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