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Chapter 5: Materials in the Facial Action Coding System

The System is composed of the following parts:

1. Manual

2. Graphic, Image, and Video Illustrations of Action Units

3. Score Sheet

4. Image and Video Practice Items

5. Answers to Practice Items

6. Norms on Learners' Progress

7. Computer Program

8. Final Test of Scoring (available separately)

9. Investigator's Guide

1. Manual for FACS: A 370 page self-instructional text.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Facial Measurement: Explanation of terminology for referring to facial areas, wrinkles, etc. and an overview of learning FACS.

Chapter 2: Upper Face Action Units: AUs which change appearance in brow/forehead and eyelids.

Chapter 3: Scoring Procedure: A step-by-step scoring procedure for applying FACS to scoring facial actions.

Chapter 4: Up/Down Action Units: Explanation of AUs in the lower face which move the face in an up/down direction.

Chapter 5: Horizontal Actions: Explanations of AUs in the lower face which produce horizontal movement.

Chapter 6: Oblique Action Units: Explanation of AUs in the lower face which move the face in an oblique direction.

Chapter 7: Orbital Actions: Explanation of AUs in the muscles which orbit the lower face which are produced by the mouth.

Chapter 8: Miscellaneous Actions: A number of actions in the lower face are explained in less detail than those in previous chapters.

Chapter 9: Head and Eye positions: A procedure for describing head and eye position is explained, and how head and eye position may affect the scoring of the previously learned AUs.

Chapter 10: Scoring procedure: Summary presentation of scoring procedure to use in scoring upper face, lower face, miscellaneous and head/eye position.

Chapter 11: Advanced Scoring Techniques: Scoring during speech, events, asymmetry.

Each AU and AU combination in Chapters 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 is described in terms of:

1. The anatomical basis of each AU.

2. A detailed verbal description of the appearance change resulting from each AU or AU combination.

3. Instructions about how to perform the AU on your own face.

4. Guidelines for scoring the intensity of each AU or Combination.

The Manual also includes two sets of tables. Reference tables explain how to score AUs when the one AU conceals or enhances the presence of another. Subtle Difference Tables compare and contrast AUs and AU combinations which are most difficult to distinguish.

2. FACS Illustrations

A. Anatomical illustrations of the muscular basis of each AU. There are ten such drawing and photographs included in the text of the Manual.

B. One hundred thirty five reference example images of AUs and AU combinations described in the Manual.

C. MPEG digital video reference examples of AUs in motion showing each AU and each AU combination in the Manual.

3. Scoring Sheets

A Score Sheet to use in coding is available, which is keyed to the step-by-step procedure. The Score Sheet lists certain rules to facilitate scoring. One Score Sheet is used for scoring each facial event.

4. Practice Items

Practice images and digital video are provided for the learner to score after he has studied chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Forty-six still photographs are provided which show facial actions by nine different people. Forty-seven actions are shown on MPEG digital video, showing facial actions by five different people.

5. Answers to Practice Items

The correct answer to each practice item and commentary on possible errors is included in Chapter 7 of the Guide.

6. Norms on Learner's Progress

Norms are provided which allow the learner to compare his progress on each set of practice items with the performance of six people who later achieved high reliability when they completed FACS. These data are given in Chapter 8 of the Guide.

7. Computer Program

A computer program can be used in scoring, for the coder to determine whether his scoring of a face has violated any of the rules built into FACS, to determine the accuracy of practice scoring, and to facilitate comparisons between coders in their scoring of faces.

8. Final Test of Scoring

This digital video contains excerpts from conversations. By scoring this videotape a learner or group of learners can compare their scores with those of the FACS developers and the norms on six other learners. Commentary is provided on sources of errors. See Chapter 13 in this Guide for details on obtaining and using this test.


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A Human Face