An interesting study has emerged, reported in my Berkeley alum newsletter. It seems that we have gotten thing wrong according to a Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences study challenging decades of research positing that emotional intelligence and recognition are based largely on the ability to read micro-expressions signaling happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and other positive and negative moods and sentiments..
“Our study reveals that emotion recognition is, at its heart, an issue of context as much as it is about faces,” said study lead author Zhimin Chen, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley. “Researchers blurred the faces and bodies of actors in dozens of muted clips from Hollywood movies and home videos. Despite the characters’ virtual invisibility, hundreds of study participants were able to accurately read their emotions by examining the background and how they were interacting with their surroundings” “Overall, the results suggest that context is not only sufficient to perceive emotion, but also necessary to perceive a person’s emotion,” said Whitney, a UC Berkeley psychology professor. “Face it, the face is not enough to perceive emotion.”
I do have to admit that I am not sure what that means, particularly in my life which has increasingly been governed by communicating through Instagram with people that are strangers. My sociability is augmented by personal contact. This from Theresa, the sales manager at Vancouver in the Box, the company that is packing me in preparation of moving me. “Good afternoon Alexis. I can’t even begin to say how awesome it was meeting you yesterday. I was laughing so hard you had me tearing up! Those red shoes…I will never forget that or the wedding dress…hahahahah” ! She is referring to the red high heeled shoes presently used as a table decoration, they are high heeled sandals to be worn only in bed, if you get the drift. I hasten to add that they have not been employed as yet. The wedding dress cost five dollars and hangs above the bed to discourage men who might think that they are going to get some action for nothing. Has it worked? I am not talking. Hahahaha Theresa herself is coming to help pack on Thursday and I am so looking forward to being with her. The relief I feel is immense. I shall get out of here efficiently and effortlessly. I have placed myself (and my possessions) in Theresa’s capable hands.
But Flower Girl’s Wife also looms large in my existence and our, almost daily, interactions occur on Instagram. We laugh about the eventual nuptials with her inquiring about the identity of the groom.. She responded to a video made while waiting for a taxi outside the Chen Centre where I had attended a magnificent VSO concert.
She: Did you gave him the chat up lines or do we still have Prince Charles on the top of the list?
Me: Prince Charles still there but a bit awkward with me not going to London to live.
She: You have to find one that lives near your new home as long distance relationships do not work
Me: With me they work better. Hahahaha
As you can see Flower Girl’s Wife and I have so much fun with one another. Laughter is a wonderful bond. I get most attached to funny people. We bring out the hilarious in one another. Ayda and I have the best time training – we are thinking of doing a video of out training sessions where we laugh most of the whole time. She prods me to exercise.
She: Alexis, you have to do the other leg. You have two legs you know.
Me: Just amputate the one with the bad knee. That will make this whole process go easier on us.
Well of course I was joking, and I dd exercise the other leg but it was fun then and not a chore.
But I have not spoken of a profound conversation that took place in the Laduree Restaurant on Robson Street. There were two other women at an adjoining table and we began to chat. Now this is an unbelievable thing about Vancouver restaurants and it only happens in Vancouver restaurants, Some officious soul comes around and tells you that you can not talk with other people at other tables – even though they want to talk to you. It has happened countless times with me in this silly city. The most recent time at Yew in the Four Seasons. I deal with it by not coming back to the restaurant – a woman and I were having a great chat, some guy came and interrupted and then he was supported by the assistant manager of the restaurant. I will never go back and eat at Yew again. But that did not happen at wonderful, classy, gracious Laduree.The topic of conversation became knee surgery – a young woman said that she had knee surgery, she and her friend joined me at my table and a detailed conversation ensured. The two young women lived in Whistler, the one that had knee surgery was on the Olympic Ski Team, her knee destroyed in a skiing accident. Thereupon she and her trainer shopped around to find the best guy and she had the surgery and then she went back to be on the team and do well. It was an amazing story. But here is the truly amazing part.
Me: What are you going to do next?
She: I am going to attend the University of Alberta in Calgary.
Me: Good for you! Education for a woman is SO important.
She: Yes. And it is time for me to be normal.
Me: OMG that is so profound and so true. You are brilliant and you are so young.
Her friend: She is amazing, it is true.
I got her permission to blog this. This is so profound for me at this moment because I am going back to San Francisco to live – I think it is high time that I become normal. Now I have to tell you this, when I confided this to Ayda she said I would never be normal. It made me laugh. Perhaps she is correct.
On Instagram there was a profound posting listing 39 Habits for Happiness. I responded:
Me: Extremely wise words. Brilliant actually, Very inspiring.
I think I know how to send it to Chris to put on the blog. I am getting slightly techie.