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An expression of confusion is often determined by the nose and forehead scrunched up, sometimes with one eyebrow raised higher than the other. Lips are typically pursed together as well, although the expression of confusion tends to be most accentuated around the eyes and nose.
A look of surprise is easily identified by its widened eyes and gaping mouth. The emotion of surprise or shock is a close relative of fear. The surprised face is one of the most instinctual faces we make. Most of the time we do not constantly make the face-it is an instantaneous reaction to something. All primates, and many other animals for that matter, widen their eyes in fear or when they are spooked.
A look of shame is an easily and universally recognized expression. It typically includes eyes averted downward with a saddened or worried appearance. The head is also often positioned to face down with a frowning or neutral mouth. When simplified, shame is closely related to submission. In primates, after the dominant individual has succeeded in forcing the other into submission, the losing side will keep his or eyes aimed downward to acknowledge loss and end the conflict.
The facial expression of fear, is characterized by widened eyes and eyebrows slanted upward. The mouth is usually opened to some degree as well. Fear, like surprise, is closely rooted to instinct and indicates a desire to avoid or escape something.
A focused or concentrated facial expression can vary based on the situation. If the person is focused, based on a particular task, their eyes will be fixed on it. If one is focused on a thought or idea on the other hand, they may be looking upward or with eyes averted to the side. There is also typically less blinking.
The art of seduction is classified as someone enticing a person to engage in some sort of behavior, typically sexual. A seductive facial expression tends to vary greatly, yet there are still some features that remain relatively constant for everyone. Eyes are fixed with a look of intensity at the other person, occasionally narrowed slightly as if to focus on a particular object. Lips are either pursed together or slightly apart. The head is frequently tilted slightly to one side, exposing the neck more.
Anger, more so than other emotions, is thought to be universal across cultures. The look and demeanor is unmistakable. Eyebrows are squeezed together to form a crease, and eyelids are tight and straight. The head is often slightly lowered as the eyes look through a lowered brow.
Happiness is considered the most universal facial expression with virtually the same meaning across all cultures. Indicated by a smile and crescent-shaped eye, this face is even innate in infants. Scientists and evolution experts have formulated many specific origins to the expression of happiness with particular regard to the smile. Unlike most of our other expressions, our smile does not have the same meaning as the “mouth smile” of other great apes, who use that expression for intimidation.
Sad expressions usually display upward slanted eyebrows and a frown. Sadness is coupled with feelings of loss and helplessness. The face is often displayed by those who are withdrawn. The origin or reason for this expression is rather simple: the features that indicate sadness are reduced forms of one’s facial features. All aspect droop downward, not necessarily accentuating any specific area. It is an indication of defeat as well, a sense of giving up or a lack of attempt to engage with others.
An obvious factor indicating that someone is exhausted are half-opened eyelids. Eyebrows are also frequently raised in an attempt to stay awake. Fatigue is a weariness caused by a lot of exertion without sufficient rest. In primates especially the more intelligent great apes, their fatigue expression is just as prominent. When preparing for or engaging in a conflict, apes can size one another up and gauge their chances of winning a fight by examining the demeanor of the opposition and their energy level. A look of fatigue serves as a benefit to the opposing party because they appear to be less threatening. We humans also indicate our level of functionality with our face. By roughly indicating the amount of energy we have, others can also be aware of our capabilities.