Facial Feedback Hypothesis- April 4th, 2010

The facial feedback hypothesis is what proposes actions within the sensation of one’s emotions. Otherwise known as a free expression of one’s physical characteristics of their emotions shown for others to see in which it follows the emotion itself. Facial feedback seems to moderate the emotion rather than be the actual causing agent of the emotion. (Buck, 1980, p. 812). The face should portray the emotion one is feeling and be the result of the emotion versus the cause.  Facial movement can influence what others see as one’s emotional experience. One could feel extremely happy by a certain stimuli but be showing a completely different emotion, much like what others know as a so called poker face.

The event-appraisal-emotion sequence is one’s evaluation of a position causing an emotional, or sentimental, response that is going to be based on that assessment. One good example of the event-appraisal-emotion-sequence is a first date. If the first date is viewed as affirmative, one might feel joyful, delighted, or ecstatic because the date could quite possibly hold certain long term effects. Long term effects like marriage, a relationship, or an engagement. However if the date went horribly wrong and left one feeling negative and then one’s emotions might be fear, unhappiness, bitterness, or even emptiness.

Both the facial feedback hypothesis and the event-appraisal-emotion sequence are based on one’s behavior motivated by something else, whether that be emotion or an event. However, both end in a certain emotional state leaving one with a pool of thoughts and feelings.


Buck, R. (1980). Nonverbal behavior and the theory of emotion: The facial feedback hypothesis.

Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 38(5), 811-824


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