Emotion management – Activity 3

Face control: Recognizing emotions through photos

Activity type:

Learning Goal:
According to Paul Ekman (2003), a person can learn how to recognize expressions, such as expressions that are very brief or with not much muscular contraction and only registered in one area. In this exercise the participants are going to practice how to recognize expressions just looking some photos. This will be a first step to get to know more about the different expressions.

Individual activity or group activity.

15-30 minutes

Material needed:
Peoples’ photos


There is a list of 7 emotions: anger, contempt, fear, disgust, surprise, sadness and enjoyment and fourteen photographs. Each emotion is a possible choice for the expressions in each of the photographs. You will have 5 seconds to observe each photograph and match its expression with a specific emotion. You have to be as quick as you can, so as not to leave a photo without a matching emotion.

In case of wrong or missed answers, a second round will take place where each photograph will be shown for 1 minute.

Questions for reflection:

  • Was it easy to recognise the emotions in the given pictures?
  • What did I learn from this activity?