One of the most recent paradigms that we’ve used to try to get this under experimental control is to ask people to act out pretend harmful actions. So for instance, we’ll give them a disabled handgun. We’ll show them that it’s fake. That it couldn’t possibly harm a fly. We put it in their hands and then we ask them to shoot us in the head.
Why do we do the things that we do? Why do we sometimes choose to be loving parents and other times engage in irrational self-destructive behaviors? What drives us to sometimes be altruistic and other times make decisions that really threaten our very survival? Well, the answer lies in our brains. Our brains evolved to ensure that we repeat behaviors that will lead to our survival.
The face is a constant flow of facial expressions. We react and emote to external stimuli all the time. And it is exactly this flow of expressions that is the observable window to our inner self. Our emotions, our intentions, attitudes, moods. Why is this important? Because we can use it in a very wide variety of applications.