Burkina Faso and France: A Gross-Cultural Study of the Judgment of Action Readiness in Facial Expressions of Emotion
A. Tcherkassof & F. de Suremain
Previous research has documented that the major forms of emotional action readiness are likely to be universal and that the main forms of states of action readiness are exhibited in facial expressions of emotion. A comparative study between an African (Burkinabe) and an European (French) population was conducted in order to investigate how these two cultures assess facial expressions of four emotions (jay, sadness, anger and fear) in terms of action readiness modes as well as in terms of emotion labels. Results show that specific patterns of action readiness modes characterize the facial expressions. According to discriminant analyses, these patterns yield high percentages of correct classifications, comparable to those yielded with emotion labels ratings. Action readiness patterns even allow, far the African group, better classifications of the facial expressions than do the emotion labeling. Finally, an ethnic bias seems to emerge. Compared to black faces, white faces are slightly better classified by French participants whereas black faces are somewhat better classified than are white ones by Burkinabe participants, except for anger expressions which profile of result differ from the other facial expressions.

Key words: action readiness, facial expressions of emotion, Burkina Faso/Africa, France/Europe, black and white faces