One must remember to obey the rules of emotionality, which are used to specify the type and intensity of feelings considered to be appropriate and socially acceptable within particular circumstances, from both the perspective of the person concerned and the other partakers. The system of emotionality rules is diversified when it comes to its social structure; the rules vary precisely in accordance with roles, gender, situation, and (sub)culture. The rules of emotionality are thus not by any means universal. Fiehler’s (2002) ideas of emotion rules can be categorized as follows:
• Manifestation rules are rules that “regulate the type and intensity of emotions that may be expressed in a particular situation, regardless of what emotion one is actually feeling.”
• Correspondence rules are responsible for “regulate the types of emotions and manifestations expected from conversational partners in response to a person’s feelings or displays of particular emotions.”
• Coding rules are “conventions that describe and determine which behaviors count as manifestations of an emotion.”
1.2. Emotional expression
One can define emotional expression as verbal and nonverbal actions taken regarding the emotion that someone feels. It either conscious or unintended and therefore not controlled. Emotional expression is intertwined with emotions, although “not only can there be emotion without expression, there can be what appears to be expression without emotion.” (Ekman 1999). People are capable of deceiving others by replicating an emotional expression, facially and vocally, and it is done in a deliberative or habitual act and due to many reasons; for example, as a way of misleading or referring to an emotion that is not currently experienced. However, facial expressions are likely to differ subtlety when a smile occurs involuntarily, as compared to social smiling or consciously made false smiles. Emotional expressions are related to autonomic nervous system (ANS) as the social constructionist draws attention the past history of the individual, while the evolutionary theoretician emphasizes the previously known reports of the species in order to give explanation as to why there is emotion-specific ANS activity.
1.2.1. Verbal vs. nonverbal emotional expression
Nonverbal communication behaviors are those actions that typically accompany our verbal message, which consists of any kind of oral communication; our eyes and face, our gestures, our use of voice, and even our appearance. While having a conversation with someone, one should remember not to automatically draw conclusions that a particular behavior has the same meaning to everyone, and pay attention to the numerous nonverbal signs being sent and their relationship to the verbal message. There are various types of nonverbal communication:
• the use of the body (kinesics)
o movements of either the body or body parts that are interpreted and given meaning to by other people
illustrators are gestures which expand the meaning of the verbal message – certain expressions are expected to be accompanied by a gesture that goes along with your verbal description; emblems, on the other hand, can stand alone and substitute completely for words
adaptors are motions which occur unconsciously as a reaction to a physical need
o eye contact
the technical term for eye contact/gaze is oculesics; it is related to our perception of others and how much we look at them when during a conversation
expressing our emotions and monitoring what is happening in the interaction
following the person’s or the audience’s reaction to your comments
o facial expression
facial muscles that are positioned in a certain way in order to express emotional states or reactions to messages; our facial expressions are essential in projecting the six basic human emotions of happiness, sadness, surprise, fear, anger, and disgust
body language expresses one’s attitude – being attentive, respectfulness, and dominance, etc.
haptics focuses on any type of interaction that involves touch; touching behavior is seen as an essential aspect of nonverbal communication with others
“Some research also suggests that women tend to touch others less than men do, but value touching more than men do. Women view touch as an expressive behavior that demonstrates warmth and affection, whereas men view touch as instrumental behavior, so that touching females is considered as leading to sexual activity” (Pearson, West, & Turner, 1995, p. 142)
• the voice (vocalics/paralanguage)
o vocalics defines a verbal message based on the paralinguistic attributes; paralanguage is the voiced part of a spoken message, but is it nonverbal, and it consists of six vocal features
quality of the vocal tone; people raise and lower vocal pitch in order to certain points and emotions, and to indicate question
intensity of tone; whereas some individuals possess booming voices that carry long distances, there are also others who are soft-spoken;
loud speakers risk appearing obnoxious or pushy, whereas people who speak too softly might seem timid and self-conscious
rate is the pace of one’s speech
people have a tendency to talk faster when they are happy, frightened, nervous, or excited, but they slow down when solving a problem or they want to emphasize a point
the sound of a person’s voice that differentiates it from others; voice quality may be breathy, rough, husky, or nasal
intonation is the diversity, melody, or inﬂection in one’s voice; monotone voices involve little intonation and come across as boring
o vocalized pauses
various irrelevant sounds or words that interrupt ﬂuent speech (“uh”,” “um”,” “er”,” “well”,” “OK”,” and those nearly universal interrupters, such as “you know” and “like”)
• space (proxemics)
o formal term for how space and distance communicate (Hall, 1968)
o personal space
personal space is the space between a person and someone else that is maintained when interacting with them; personal space stems from our biological territorial nature as a form of protective mechanism and it is different for everyone
o physical space
physical space is the segment of the physical conditions over which one bears control; due to it we prefer to sustain a personal distance but also to assert dominance of parts of the physical space that we occupy
artifacts are the ornaments that we use in order to decorate our physical space; often used purposefully to show off or as a form of manifesting your taste, and are quite noticeable and therefore others tend to judge us on the basis of the artifacts we own
• and time (chronemics)
o Chronemics one’s interpretation of time and is based largely on cultural context (Hall, 1959)
o It is either monochronic or polychronic
monochronic time orientation concentrates on one task, and only when it is ﬁnished or when the time we have devoted to it is over, do we move on to another task
polychronic people consider time in a ﬂexible and ﬂuid manner and perceive appointment times and schedules as variable and subordinate to interpersonal relationships; it is easy for them to adjust their schedule to meet the needs of their relationships
o our view of time is often biased as judge others’ use of time through the lens of the culture of our origin – if our time orientation is monochronic, the polychronic time behavior of someone else will be considered by us as “rude” and vice versa
• self-presentation cues
o people learn a lot about others based on their looks
o physical appearance
endomorphs, whose shape is round and bulky, are stereotyped as kind, gentle, and cheerful
mesomorphs, who are well built and strong, are assumed to be zealous, outgoing, and conﬁdent
ectomorphs, whose bodies seem fragile due to being quite thin, are stereotyped as intelligent, anxious, and cautious.
o clothing and grooming
our clothing and personal hygiene send a message about us; people use clothing, body art, and other personal grooming to express who they are and what they stand for
1.2.2. Studying expressions
There are two contrasting views of what our expressions mean and how to study them: traditional, also called basic emotions theory (BET), and the behavioural ecology view of facial displays (BECV). BET’s origins go back to the Hellenic age and it states that “each of small number of categorical ‘passions’ are universally conveyed by matching a facial expression” (Crivelli & Fridlund, 2018). BECV, on the other hand, has its source in animal communication and modern evolutionary biology, and claims that “our facial expressions are not ‘expressions’ of anything” and that “they have no intrinsic meaning tied to their morphologies, nor are they contingent upon any specific internal state.” (Crivelli & Fridlund, 2018). As it is also mentioned by Crivelli and Fridlund (2018) in regard to BECV, our faces are said to be ‘social tools’ that and are used as lead signs of contingent action in social negotiation, and their purpose is determined by the context of current social interaction, the interactants, and their interaction histories. BECV provides an externalist, functionalist view of facial displays that is not constrained by Western conceptions about either expressions or emotions.
1.3. Acting emotions
Now that we covered emotions and emotional expression, it is time to move to acting.
1.3.1. Surface vs. deep acting
Back in antiquity, acting was highly stylized, rhetorical, and oratory in manner, with personas of uncompromising temperaments, and dance-like gesticulations that portrayed certain “humors”. This way of acting was popular up to 17th century, when characters started portraying inner states in form of monologues; motions and deeds were still overstressed with oratorical style and caricature-like portrayal. Goldstein and Bloom (2011) claim that realistic acting “is very new and it cannot be seen as a biological adaptation” as “it is a human invention, like reading or chess”. In day-to-day speech, ‘acting’ frequently refers to instances of deception. However, it is not deception; actors are not really trying to trick the audience, and from the standpoint of an audience member it is crucial that one knows that it is acting. Actors must convey feelings and actions that do not correspond to their actual selves or their situation, they have to ‘live truthfully’ under imaginary circumstances. Psychology and physiology are frequently used by artists to exceed their portrayal of characters and worldwide theatre studies scholars have attempted to integrate findings from cognitive science into their teachings.
A dramaturgical approach to service delivery implies that acting takes two forms: surface acting, which is “painting on affective displays, or faking”,” and deep acting, which is “modifying inner feelings to match expressions” (Grove & Fisk, 1989; Hochschild, 1983). When performing deep acting, an actor attempts to reshape feelings to match the required displays, “faking in good faith”
In surface acting, the latter approach, displays are modified without shaping inner feelings; doing this entails experiencing emotional dissonance, or the tension felt when expressions and feelings diverge (Hochschild, 1983); it is described as “faking in bad faith” (Rafaeli & Sutton, 1987: 32).
1.3.2. Method acting/ Stanislavski method
Method acting is a technique of performing that was first introduced by Constantin Stanislavski (1898) and became popular later in 1950s with a new wave of actors, such as Marlon Brandon, James Dean, and Montgomery Clift, and a style of acting that focused on psychological realism to a greater degree than their peers in the industry. It was supposed to be emotionally driven, explosive, and perceived to contain greater complexity than the performances of their peers. Stanislavski’s conception of “psychological realism” in performance challenged ideas about the crucial features of the actor’s craft that had been held for centuries. He identified the conception of performance that had preceded realism as the art of representation. It involved a new set of symbols, and a new methodology. The main point of this method is focusing on the actor as a heightened emotional animal, one whose goal is to forget that they are not the character played by them. Performance is considered best when spontaneous, when it is lived in and when it accurately represents these specific human character of the narrative. Stanislavski’s main point was to perceive the actor as an experiencer of authentic emotional moments.