Facial Expression (Dacher Keltner)

Dacher Keltner, psychology professor and director of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at UC Berkeley for the last thirty years has been researching human emotions, starting with micro-movements of facial muscles and more recently the relationship between powerlessness and health outcomes. In book Understanding Emotions 3rd edition (Dacher Keltner, Keith Oatley, Jennifer M. Jenkins) they they said:

According to written and oral traditions, people have been interested in emotions for thousands of years. In most societies emotions are at the center of people’s understandings of themselves and others and their relationships, rituals, and public life. In the era of scientific research in psychology, we present here an approach to nderstanding that can enter ordinary conversation and that takes seriously the rapidly growing body of scientific evidence.

In psychology, emotions have now moved into their proper place, at the center of our understandings of the human mind and of relationships in the social world. Our book, and we would claim the whole topic of emotions, is not just psychology. It extends, too, across neuroscience, psychiatry, biology, anthropology, sociology, literature, and philosophy.


For each set of face, choose and circle which word best describes what the person in the picture is thinking or feeling. You may feel that more than one word is applicable but please choose just one word, the word which you consider to be most suitable. Before making your choice, make sure that you have read all 4 words. You should try to do the task as quickly as possible but you will not be timed. .


Amusement – the state of experiencing humorous, and usually entertaining events or situations.

Anger - a feeling of displeasure resulting from opposition, and usually showing itself in a desire to fight back.

Awe – an emotion marked by wonder and feelings of insignificance and reverence.

Contempt – a feeling of regarding someone or something as inferior, base, or worthless.

Contentment – a state of relaxation and peace.

Coyness – feelings of being flirtatiously shy or modest.

Desire – feelings of wanting or longing for something.

Disgust – marked by aversion to something that is highly distasteful.

Embarrassment – the feeling of discomfort resulting from one’s violation of a social norm.

Fear – an emotional response to a perceived threat, usually due to the anticipation of danger.

Happiness – a state of general well-being and enjoyment.

Interest – the feeling of having one’s attention captured, or of being temporarily fascinated by someone or something.

Pain – an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with bodily damage.

Pride – having a high sense of one’s own self-worth.

Relief – feelings of having either a physical or psychological burden removed.

Sadness – feelings of grief, disadvantage, loss, and/or helplessness.

Shame – an emotion resulting from personal contemplations of inadequacy, dishonor, and/or disgrace.

Surprise – a brief emotional state resulting from an experience of unexpectedness.

Sympathy – feelings of compassion and empathy for another.

Triumph – an emotional state of celebrating a decisive victory over a difficult challenge.