Non-verbal behaviour is a major component of communication, and facial expressions of emotion are the most important and complex signal system humans have.
Research has documented the existence of seven universally expressed and recognized facial expressions of emotion (joy, sadness, fear, surprise, anger, contempt and disgust). The impact of this finding is immense: all people – regardless of race, culture, ethnicity, age, gender or religion – express these emotions in the face in exactly the same ways.Subtle expressions occur when a person’s emotional response to a situation, to another person or to the environment around them is of low intensity. They also occur when a person is just starting to feel an emotion. Unlike micro expressions, subtle expressions are not associated with the length of time that they are on the face, but rather with the intensity of the emotion that is occurring.
Micro expression is a brief, involuntary facial expression shown on the face of humans according to emotions experienced. They usually occur in high-stakes situations, where people have something to lose or gain. Microexpressions occur when a person is consciously trying to conceal all signs of how he or she is feeling, or when a person does not consciously know how he or she is feeling.Unlike regular facial expressions, it is difficult to hide microexpression reactions. Microexpressions express the seven universal emotions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt. Nevertheless, in the 1990s, Paul Ekman expanded his list of basic emotions, including a range of positive and negative emotions not all of which are encoded in facial muscles. These emotions are amusement, contempt, embarrassment, excitement, guilt, pride, relief, satisfaction, pleasure, and shame. They are very brief in duration, lasting only 1/25 to 1/15 of a second.
As their name suggests, subtle expressions are very subtle. Even a slight tightening of the lips can be a reliable sign that someone is angry.
Macroexpressions last from ½ second to 4 seconds: we see them in our daily interactions with people all of the time.