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Title: Data and the development of research methods in the science of human emotional expression from Darwin to Klineberg
Author: Liu, Hongjin
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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The science of emotional expression was opened up by Charles Darwin in The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872). It proposes three principles to explain the mechanisms of expressive behaviours through six research methods. This thesis offers the first detailed examination of three of the new methods of data collection that Darwin introduced in the book, and uses that examination to explore the relations between Darwin’s theories and data as well as the afterlives of his methods in American psychology in the first half of the twentieth century. The three methods are the questionnaire, the recognition experiments on photographed expressions and the newly discovered literary approach. The original data of the questionnaire avails the first discussion of Darwin’s publication bias, finding that in order to produce the conclusion on racial unity, Darwin had silently dropped one of the questions from the original questionnaire and hidden a significant body of data about racial distinctions. Apart from this pursuit of racial universality, another ultimate conclusion & presumed hypothesis in the book is discovered: the evolution of expression from animals to human, concerned with the recognition experiments. With the last method, we find that when there lacked observational evidence for some expressions, Darwin often quoted works of fiction as supplementary data. The use of these Darwinian methods in the field of psychology is then historically tracked. Two American psychologists – Antoinette Feleky and Otto Klineberg – are cited as the prominent users of recognition experiments and the literary approach respectively. With historical and sometimes quantitative analysis of their original data, the research uncovers reasons for the prosperity of the recognition experiments and the decline of the literary approach in that period; and demonstrates the ideological transition in the expressional science: from physiological doctrine to the purely psychological approach with more cultural concerns.
Supervisor: Radick, Gregory Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available