Biological Lab report: The Facial feedback hypothesis "The emotions we experience are also influenced by sensory feedback from the face?"

Essay by hksshkUniversity, Bachelor'sB-, April 2003

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In this report I would like to report about the exercise I have performed in week-3 session which test the 'facial feedback hypothesis'. And this hypothesis is an extension of James-Lange theory, which states that the physiological change that we experience in response to a stimulus or an event are in fact our emotions. The facial feedback hypothesis proposes that the emotions we experience are also influenced by sensory feed back from the face. In my experiment, our class use the method described by Strack, Martin and Stepper (1988) to prevent participants from interpreting their facial expressions as emotions. We were asked to put the pen in different conditions: 'teeth-holding', 'lip-balancing' and 'teeth-holding without lip assist'. There were 346 students chosen at Monash University 2nd year psychology department. They were asked to do a simple task which is manipulate the pen by the mouth and lips, and it's real meaning is smiling, neutral and frowning; but not allow them to aware the actual meaning for the task.,

however the statistic shows that the hypothesis was not accepted, and the data was insignificant compare with the past finding.


Theoretical work in facial feedback hypothesis cab be traced back to Darwin (1896), who stated that 'Free expression by outward sign of an emotion intensifies'. The theory of emotion developed by William James (1922) also emphasized that feedback from the autonomic and muscular system (included the facial musculature) influence the quality of ongoing emotional experience. Tomkin (1962) elaborated on this view by emphasizing the causal role of facial efference in providing feedback that enhances the subjective experience of emotion. A comprehensive review of theoretical developments relevant to the facial feedback hypothesis can be found in Adelmann and Zajonc (1989). Gross (1998) conducted a study that subjects see a...