Body language can be a dead giveaway of where you’re from. People can tell whether you’re from Australia or the U.K. by the way you smile. They can tell whether you’re from China or Egypt by the way you count using your fingers. And they know whether you’re American or German depending on how you express sympathy.
But when it comes to expressing negative emotions, our body language might be much more universal than we realize. The proof is in a single facial expression that crosses over cultures and languages around the world: the “not face.”
The team, led by cognitive scientist Aleix Martinez, homed in on negative statements — like “that’s not a good idea” or “I don’t like that” — and used computer algorithms to map the corresponding facial movements.
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