Naked Face

Topics: Facial expression, Paul Ekman, Face Pages: 3 (1025 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Essay 1

In his article “The Naked Face”, Malcolm Gladwell explains the relationships between our facial expressions and our ability to communicate and how it plays a part in how we interact with one another. Facial expressions are as important as verbal expressions, through them mothers would know if something is wrong with their babies, a universal language that we all share and understand, no matter if expresses happiness, sadness, or fear. As humans we all are linked to this massive network of communication, equipped with sensors that would engage, read, and understand a message behind a facial expression.

The author introduces us to John Yarbrough a retired policeman from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, who while working one night, got an encounter with a seventeen years old young man that pointed a gun at him. Usually, in this kind of situation policemen would shoot a suspect, but Yarbrough didn’t, he stated that “something didn’t feel right”, he kept his position looking at the young man’s face until he put the gun down. The policeman explanation is that he saw on the suspect face that he is not going to shoot, he said “a hunch that at that exact moment he was not an imminent threat to me. “ Officer Yarbrough read a message on the young man’s face that put on hold the automatic reaction of shooting a suspect that point a gun at a policeman, he did not verbally say I am not going to shoot, but his face did and the officer was able to understand that and handle the situation with a way that prevented a violent scenario from happening (2).We use and read facial expressions daily, and sometimes we base our understanding on them more than words, and Gladwell mentioned a simple but interesting example that illustrate this power. When a friend would say that she is happy, but her face says otherwise, we would say “I don’t think she is very happy”. The message that we received from her face was much stronger than her words (5).The author explains...
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