Characteristic Facial Expressions

There are people who have characteristic facial expressions that their faces fall into when they’re not paying attention: for example mild horror, or bovine contentment, or smugness, or drowsiness. Are these feelings what their base tone emotional state is? Or are they a fall-out from their facial physiognomy; not their literal anatomy, because they don’t have such an expression when they’re asleep, but what their face expresses when it is expressing anything? Do we treat the mildly horrified differently than we do the smug and contented, and if we do does that reinforce their expression or does it dampen it down, returning it to the average? Is a moment of joy on the face of the habitually horrified more expressive, because it is a departure from the background, like pink against black, or is it mixed with the underlying mild horror, like pink mixed with black?


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