Nonverbal “Accents”

  title={Nonverbal “Accents”},
  author={Abigail A Marsh and Hillary Anger Elfenbein and Nalini Ambady},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={373 - 376}
We report evidence for nonverbal “accents,” subtle differences in the appearance of facial expressions of emotion across cultures. Participants viewed photographs of Japanese nationals and Japanese Americans in which posers' muscle movements were standardized to eliminate differences in expressions, cultural or otherwise. Participants guessed the nationality of posers displaying emotional expressions at above-chance levels, and with greater accuracy than they judged the nationality of the same… Expand

Topics from this paper

Isolating cues to social judgements from faces: The possible effects of hairstyles
A previous study provided evidence for the existence of “nonverbal accents” by demonstrating differences in judgements by American observers of the nationality of Japanese national and JapaneseExpand
Separated by a Common Language
The expression of nonverbal cues may differ systematically across cultures. Common cues used in distinct ways cross-culturally may be termed nonverbal accents. The data in this study indicate thatExpand
Nonverbal Dialects and Accents in Facial Expressions of Emotion
This article focuses on a theoretical account integrating classic and recent findings on the communication of emotions across cultures: a dialect theory of emotion. Dialect theory uses a linguisticExpand
Evidence and a computational explanation of cultural differences in facial expression recognition.
The model demonstrates how each of us, interacting with others in a particular cultural context, learns to recognize a culture-specific facial expression dialect. Expand
Cross-cultural emotional prosody recognition: Evidence from Chinese and British listeners
Findings reveal that emotional displays were recognised at rates higher than predicted by chance; however, members of each cultural group were more accurate in recognising the displays communicated by a member of their own cultural group than a members of the other cultural group. Expand
Toward a dialect theory: cultural differences in the expression and recognition of posed facial expressions.
Two studies provided direct support for a recently proposed dialect theory of communicating emotion, positing that expressive displays show cultural variations similar to linguistic dialects, therebyExpand
Cultural Relativity in Perceiving Emotion From Vocalizations
The results indicate that the voice can reliably convey affective meaning across cultures, but that perceptions of emotion from the voice are culturally variable. Expand
Universals and Cultural Variations in 22 Emotional Expressions Across Five Cultures
This investigation collected and coded over 2,600 free-response facial and body displays of 22 emotions in China, India, Japan, Korea, and the United States to test 5 hypotheses concerning universals and cultural variants in emotional expression. Expand
Developmental changes in the primacy of facial cues for emotion recognition.
Age-related differences in how individuals prioritize viewing emotional faces versus contexts when making emotion judgments are tested, revealing a developmental shift in how Individuals process and integrate emotional cues. Expand
Internal representations reveal cultural diversity in expectations of facial expressions of emotion.
Facial expressions have long been considered the "universal language of emotion." Yet consistent cultural differences in the recognition of facial expressions contradict such notions (e.g., R. E.Expand


Universals and cultural differences in the judgments of facial expressions of emotion.
Evidence of cross-cultural agreement in the judgement of facial expression is presented, with agreement very high across cultures about which emotion was the most intense and about the relative intensity among expressions of the same emotion. Expand
The Roots of Nationalism: Nonverbal Behavior and Xenophobia
Do people discriminate between foreigners and fellow-countrymen on the basis of nonverbal behavior? If so, are responses to outsiders primarily based on cognitive judgments or emotional reactions?Expand
Pan-Cultural Elements in Facial Displays of Emotion
Observers in both literate and preliterate cultures chose the predicted emotion for photographs of the face, although agreement was higher in the literate samples. These findings suggest that theExpand
Is there universal recognition of emotion from facial expression? A review of the cross-cultural studies.
  • J. Russell
  • Psychology, Medicine
  • Psychological bulletin
  • 1994
Facial expressions and emotion labels are probably associated, but the association may vary with culture and is loose enough to be consistent with various alternative accounts, 8 of which are discussed. Expand
Ethnic differences in affect intensity, emotion judgments, display rule attitudes, and self-reported emotional expression in an American sample
Research of the past two decades has shown that cultures exert considerable influence over emotion. Most, if not all, of the cross-cultural research reported to date have been on samples obtained inExpand
On the universality and cultural specificity of emotion recognition: a meta-analysis.
A meta-analysis examined emotion recognition within and across cultures, finding emotions were universally recognized at better-than-chance levels and cross-cultural accuracy was lower in studies that used a balanced research design, and higher in Studies that used imitation rather than posed or spontaneous emotional expressions. Expand
Is there an in-group advantage in emotion recognition?
Overall, where Matsumoto considers subtle cross-cultural differences in emotional expression a methodological artifact in judgment studies, the present authors find a core phenomenon worthy of attention. Expand
What the face reveals : basic and applied studies of spontaneous expression using the facial action coding system (FACS)
Foreword Introduction The study of spontaneous facial expression in psychology I: BASIC RESEARCH ON EMOTION 1. Is the startle reaction an emotion? 2. The asymmetry of facial actions is inconsistenExpand
Convergence in the physical appearance of spouses
AbstractThis study attempted to determine whether people who live with each other for a long period of time grow physically similar in their facial features. Photographs of couples when they wereExpand
Foreign Accent, Comprehensibility, and Intelligibility in the Speech of Second Language Learners
One of the chief goals of most second language learners is to be understood in their second language by a wide range of interlocutors in a variety of contexts. Although a nonnative accent canExpand