You’re smart. You can read text in high volume and analytically. But: Can you read people?
Can you tell, from what’s written on someone’s face, whether they’re showing anger or fear? If they’re sad or embarrassed? Happy? Lusty? Disdainful? It can be tricky, and misreads can cost you in real-world interactions with strangers, friends, coworkers, and lovers.
Here’s a quick interactive EI quiz that, in the privacy of your computer, can help you measure your ability to read people’s emotions through their facial expressions and body language. And it can give you tips on how to improve your score, if need be.
The quiz came together under the aegis of Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center and it’s based on years of research by psychology professor Dacher Keltner and his mentor, Paul Ekman, a pioneer in the study of expressions and their universality across cultures. The quiz is “just a taste of what’s to come,” says Jason March M.J. ‘05, the editor of Greater Good magazine. The center is “on the verge of launching a bigger project on the expression of emotion via faces and voices” and how well people identify them. Keltner is overseeing the research project, which is mainly being carried out by one of his grad students, Dan Cordaro, who earned his M.S. here in organic chemistry and is working on a Ph.D. in psychology, emphasizing nonverbal communication.