A communicator expresses his or her emotions through non-verbal communication. Non-verbal communication occurs separately to the spoken word (COMM11003 Wk8 lesson). According to Patel (2014) facial expressions are a form of non-verbal communication and communicate the speakers attitude via the face, which is the primary source of emotions. Facial expressions are ever changing during oral communication allowing the receiver to interpret what is being communicated not only verbally but also through non-verbal communication (Patel 2014, p. 91).
This form of non-verbal communication allows communicators to communicate a variety of emotions that are identified universally. Emotions shown through facial expressions such happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, contempt and disgust are the same across all cultures, making facial expressions one of the easiest forms of non-verbal communication to interpret through out the world (Segal et al. 2015).
From as young as 5 years old, we can understand and communicate with non-verbal communication (COMM11003 Wk8 video). Studies have found that blind children also can communicate to others through their facial expressions proving that this behaviour is not something that is visually taught, but is in fact innate (Dobrin 2013).
Facial expressions are so instinctive that they are difficult to manipulate and are therefore studied in great depth and utilised as a tool for Police Officers. Police Officers are trained to evaluate the truthfulness of a suspect whilst detecting deception and behaviours through the facial expressions that a suspect may be unknowingly communicating through non-verbal communication. Police Officers build on these skills of reading non-verbal communication over years and eventually develop instinctive skills, which can save their lives and others (Matsumoto et al. 2011).
COMM11003 Week 2 lesson (2015), CQUniversity, Australia
Dobrin, A 2013, Facial expressions: Universal vs cultural, viewed 23 January 2016, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/am-i-right/201306/facial-expressions-universal-vs-cultural
Edwards V 2013, How to read a face, viewed on 23 January 2016, http://www.scienceofpeople.com/2013/09/guide-reading-microexpressions/
Matsumoto D, Hwang H, Skinner L, Frank M 2011, Evaluating truthfulness and detecting deception, viewed on 23 January 2016, https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/june/evaluating-truthfulness-and-detecting-deception
Patel, D 2014, ‘Body Language: An Effective Communication Tool’, IUP Journal of English Studies, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 90-95.
Segal J, Smith M, Boose G, & Jaffe J, 2015, viewed on 22 January 2016, http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/nonverbal-communication.htm