At its core, facial feature recognition locks into place those puzzling pieces of human emotion via taxonomy. Not even the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) guarantees exact predictions of another’s emotion state, but we can become more proficient in building empathy. Almost all non-verbal behavior is subconscious, without the person automatically deciding to clench fists, spout tears, or jump for joy. Capturing these micro-expressions lets us see the other person as genuinely transparent, without pre-planned guile, rhetoric, or sympathy. Again, we must avoid making broad sweeping judgements before knowing that person’s unique experience with expressions. For example, facial paralysis could negate reading that person’s emotional registry. Find a baseline, a state of relaxed expression, or as if the person was mindlessly folding laundry. Knowing these things may only take a short time with frequent opportunity to see more expressions over a variety of topics.
Okay, so now what do we do with this information, or how do we use it? Reading someone else’s microexpressions of deep-seated emotions should be done with compassion, in seeking to understand how to help (if asked or implied). While reading microexpressions in business may provide a distinct, non-verbal advantage, I consider this use unethical. In face-to-face business interactions, I always inform the other party about my advanced certification in facial feature recognition.
In compassion, I wondered about the recent media storm about U.S. Presidential Candidate, Donald Trump. He allegedly mocked an interviewer with disabilities. Trump defended his non-verbal behavior by likening it to watching the interviewer grovelingly retract any negative statements about him. Okay, I’ll agree with anyone who suggests how U.S. media has some serious bias from whichever network selected. With so much media coverage of Trump in the media, on a variety of topics, we can find a general baseline. We can examine Trump’s reactions to ascertain his emotional guidance for some questions. We can even begin to measure his confidence in his answers. After watching and re-watching Trump’s responses, I have an answer for myself about his truth. Since we should use facial feature recognition in a compassionate attempt to understand in as much to help, I wanted to believe Trump’s response. Again, he defended his behavior as threatening remorse, but not mocking disabilities.
I question why his impression of groveling and sought forgiveness looks like a person with disabilities. How much media bias makes us want to see offensive remarks? Understanding facial feature recognition empowers me to bypass rhetoric from either side by keenly studying multicultural, non-verbal human emotional expressions. Aside from loving compassion and patience from my family, this skill is the most important way for me to understand my world with autism.