Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg, in discussing the human brain’s frontal lobes in his excellent book The Wisdom Paradox, highlights that “executive intelligence” includes the ability to “penetrate other people’s minds, and that starts with an interest in other people’s minds.”
And, what is a good window to “penetrate other people’s minds” and identify other people’s emotions?
Psychologist Paul Ekman is well-known for his decades-long research on how to identify emotions through facial expressions which, sometimes controversially, is being used in affective computing and other nascent fields. In summary, he found seven emotions that are expressed in our faces in fairly universally consistent ways:
Here’s a quick brain teaser to workout your frontal lobes, based on the image above: From left to right, top then down, what emotion does each facial expression suggest to you?
Feel free to share your answers with a friend or colleague and see if you agree 🙂
Fun fact: As part of his research, Dr. Ekman learned how to consciously manipulate 43 facial muscles, including many that in most of us are beyond our control and even awareness.