The Interpretation of Facial Behaviour in Communication: From Universal Codes to Intersubjective Situated Meaning

Alexandra Dima


The overarching theme of shared cognition in communication characterizes many of the current research efforts in various theoretical and applied areas of psychology, neuroscience, and linguistics. One of the areas currently being transformed by this multidisciplinary trend is the study of facial behaviour. This paper discusses the recent shift from traditional views of facial expression towards a more sophisticated perspective. Previous attempts to identify one to- one relations between facial displays and emotional meanings suffer from a simplistic understanding of intersubjective processes. Emerging evidence suggests a new account of facial behaviour as a phenomenon influenced by multiple factors and with a complex role in human communication. 


intersubjectivity; facial expression; interaction; facial displays

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Studies in Communication Sciences | ISSN: 1424-4896