Identification of Facial Emotions by University undergraduates of Igbo Extract
Controversy over claims of cultural universal of a number of facial emotions (anger. happy, fear, sad,
surprise. and disgust) goes on without a contribution from a study of any group in Igbo tribe. As a result. 66 university students of Igbo tribe. mean age = 24 years. balanced for sex (33 men. 33 women) were employed as participants in an experiment in which Ekman (1972) standard methodology was used to determine the number of emotions they could recognise. Although the results showed that four: happy, surprise, fear and disgust of the six facial emotions were identified at a significant level of confidence, only happiness emotion got 100% recognition. While awaiting future studies that will use a good representative sample of Igbo population. the results of the study were considered as important
contribution to the debate on cultural universal of facial emotions that pushed the position of happy facial expression to a higher level on a scale of cultural universal. The results and explanation proffered were considered as catalyst for more cross-cultural studies with different methodologies to determine the universality of 'happy' facial expression.