Surprise as emotion

Background of surprise

Surprise is the briefest facial expression from all. Is ever followed by one other emotion, depending what have caused it. This emotion is almost unpleasant, we don’t like is something unexpected happened with us, but if is a source of the surprise pleasant (win on lottery) we will not remember the unpleasant feeling but the happiness after.

The intensity of surprise can vary. Most stronger is the shock. By the persons who have heart problems, the perception of intense surprise can have dangerous health consequences. We can’t be surprised is we had a time to anticipate about the event. Is hard to be controlled in facial area, abut the mostly sign of faked expression is the duration of the facial expression. Surprise come fast to the face, but go away from it to, in normal condition. The prolonged expression is almost faked, exclude if the source and the information that cause this emotion is prolonged to.

Appearance the facial expression of surprise


As you can see on the picture up, in the surprised facial expression is involved the upper face and the mouth. The surprise brow is curved and lifted, the skin of forehead is stretched with horizontal wrinkles. This forehead stretches are not presented by all the peoples. By kinds is this not see, only the high and curved brow. Eyes are wide open to see what happened around the event that produce surprise.

The mouth is open and the lips are relaxed, without tension like in disgust or anger.

Often is the upper face of surprise facial expression confused with fear. As You can see on the left picture (fear) the inner side of brows are puled down and the eyelids are tensed. On the forehead is by the fear not presented the vertical wrinkles, like in surprise.

fear surprise

On the lower face is the mouth open but without tension in lips. The teeth is not to see. The intensity of surprise is proportional with the open of the mouth. On the next picture can You see the differences between the fear, anger and surprised mouth. There is no tension in cheek. All the importance of the brain in concentrated to upper side of face, also to view (eyes) and to make the field of view maximal.

mouth fear anger surprise

Lot of time the blend of surprise is not recognized, because is the facial expression to fast. On the next picture are the lips pulled back (little smile) but the eyebrows and the eyes show surprise. This facial expression is to see if You see a good friend after some years.

happiness surprise

It exists four major types of surprise. On the picture below can you see it:

4 types of surprise

On the first is the questioning surprise. Often is presented in conversations and is not high intense as the other three. Only the upper face is involved, the mouth is neutral.

On the second picture is the astonished or amazed surprise.The eyebrows are not puled up so the wrinkles on forehead are to not presented. The mouth are open.

On the third picture is the dazed or less interested surprise. Almost is presented by the persons who is drugged or drunken. The upper eyelids are not open with same intensity as by other. The reason for this can be the neuromuscular reaction to drugs or alcohole. Same can be presented by intense tired persons.

On the fourth picture is the full surprise expression. All three facial areas are involved. Is not controlled or faked.

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