The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Facial expressions may be an unreliable way to read emotions

By Marlene Cimons

16 Dec 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

A recent study has found that how we perceive facial expressions may not always be accurate. The Washington Post explains the various factors that influence our understanding.

We use our faces to communicate, but our facial expressions may not always come across the way we think they do. And we may be just as wrong when reading the faces of others, a study says.

"Many people think they know what other people's faces should look like when they are happy, sad, angry or afraid," said Nicola Binetti, the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and a co-author of the study. "We found this is not always the case."

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