Acted vs. natural frustration and delight: Many people smile in natural frustration

M. Ehsan Hoque, Rosalind W. Picard


This work is part of research to build a system to combine facial and prosodic information to recognize commonly occurring user states such as delight and frustration. We create two experimental situations to elicit two emotional states: the first involves recalling situations while expressing either delight or frustration; the second experiment tries to elicit these states directly through a frustrating experience and through a delightful video. We find two significant differences in the nature of the acted vs. natural occurrences of expressions. First, the acted ones are much easier for the computer to recognize. Second, in 90% of the acted cases, participants did not smile when frustrated, whereas in 90% of the natural cases, participants smiled during the frustrating interaction, despite self-reporting significant frustration with the experience. This paper begins to explore the differences in the patterns of smiling that are seen under natural frustration and delight conditions, to see if there might be something measurably different about the smiles in these two cases, which could ultimately improve the performance of classifiers applied to natural expressions. Keywords-natural vs. acted data; smile while frustrated; machine learning; I

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