Research and Technical Tools for Studying the Face
|Tools for studying the face
reveal new facts as in other
areas of science.
Technological tools for studying the face are crucial for advancing
research methods and scientific knowledge about the face. With better
research tools for measuring behaviors and physical properties of the
face, and for analyzing the data generated, scientists can better
understand the face as a message system, its role in nonverbal
communication, its function in generating ideas about the self, and
other functions involving the face. These tools include methods for
re-constructing the appearance of a face based on the skull (e.g.,
forensic reconstruction and anthropological head and face
reconstruction); tools for aiding representation and recall of facial
characteristics and identity (e.g., law enforcement identity kits);
tools for artificially aging the face (e.g., used in finding missing
children grown older); computer programs for recognition of facial
identity from digital images (biometrics), and other enhancements for
psychological research methods. Additional research methods and tools,
including new tools needed for future psychological research, are
described in the NFS Report on
Understanding the Face.
Three research tools for studying the face have their home on the DataFace Web site: FACS, FACSAID, and Visage.
The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) by Paul Ekman, Wallace V.
Friesen, and Joseph C. Hager is a method for measuring facial
behaviors. Use the links in the navigator at the left to find details about FACS, sample chapters, and the eStore
for purchasing FACS. The Facial Action Coding System has had a
significant impact on research methods used to study the face,
nonverbal communication, and emotion. EMFACS, a particular style of FACS coding is also provided here.
|New research methods and
data analysis approaches
are also required.
FACS Affect Interpretation Dictionary (FACSAID) is a system that translates FACS scores into meaningful emotional categories. Using this research tool successfully depends on mastery of FACS scores, and its output is cryptic without detailed knowledge of FACS. Basic knowledge of interpreting the face in terms of emotion is also helpful. FACSAID is available via a demonstration client on this Web site, and it also is available for a fee via an advanced client that requires a userid (see the FACSAID page for an additional information). Development of this project is focussed on making it more accessible to non-FACS users, and providing an updated client.
Visage is a project to organize information about physiognomic features and the traits to which they may be related. This project is in an early development phase, but a simple demonstration application is available to demonstrate one approach to accessing the information in the database.