Paul Ekman and His Study on Facial Expressions

974 Words Feb 19th, 2018 4 Pages
At that point, he decided he wanted to study facial expressions of emotion in order to assist other people before such tragic outcomes occurred. By the time he was 15, he had enrolled in University of Chicago and became interested in group therapy. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in 1954 and in 1958 he had earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Adelphi University. His Master’s thesis was about the study of facial expressions and body movement. From 1960 to 2004 he worked at the University of California and starting in 1963 he received continual research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health for 40 years to study nonverbal behavior.
Paul Ekman was influenced by Charles Darwin’s book titled, The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals, originally published in 1872. Charles Darwin used photos, drawings and body postures from animals and humans and compared them with facial expressions and emotions. For instance, a growling dog has many facial features similar to an angry human. “Darwin argued that the existence of these similarities demonstrates that emotional expression must have evolved through natural selection in the same way that other characteristics evolved. He further contended that the expressions must serve a function; they enhance survival of the organism”. (Reevy, G. 2010 Encyclopedia of Emotion (Vol. 2, pp. 410-411). I believe…