Can blind people express emotions the same as seeing people? Scientists at the University of Geneva researched this for 80 years concerning facial expression of emotions in blind people in attempt to answer an often asked question. Are they innate or acquired?
Facial expressions are important in social interactions from birth into adulthood. Our emotions are articulated and understood universally. Logically this us seen as an act of imitation as children imitate their parents by emulating the facial expressions with certain emotions. But if this were true then what of people born blind? Do they show emotion in sane ways?
The debate about human expressions has been around since Darwin days. So, are these emotions innate or acquired? Are they taught through visual exchange? People who have been blind since birth can answer. Since they might show facial expressions similar to seeing people then it would be safe to say it is innate behaviour.
Professor Gentaz found that scientists observed blind babies and noting that their expressions were the same as sighted babies. This would prove that it us indeed innate and universal character. When a blind person expresses emotion on whim such as when surprised, they use same muscles. Basically the same reaction as a sighted person. When asked to force an expression the result varied. At the paralympic games blind and sighted athletes showed emotion the same way including forced smiles of competitors who came second. Since blind people can’t reproduce these expressions when asked shows that this is of importance socially.
It is fact that same facial muscles work when expressing emotions on whom and may just provide proof that it is innate and universal and not just taught. Children have to train themselves on front of a mirror as they learn to moderate their emotions with what they are trying to communicate. Since the blind don’t gave that opportunity their emotions lack intensity at different levels of emotion and this can be frustrating for caretakers or family to read.