We are less free than how we think: Regular patterns in nonverbal communication

Alessandro Vinciarelli, Anna Esposito, Mohammadhassan Tayaraninajaran, Giorgio Roffo, Filomena Scibelli, Francesco Perrone, Dong-Bach Vo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The goal of this chapter is to show that human behavior is not random but follows principles and laws that result into regular patterns that can be not only observed, but also automatically detected and analyzed. The word “behavior” accounts here for nonverbal behavioral cues (e.g., facial expressions, laughter, gestures, etc.) that people display, typically outside conscious awareness, during social interactions. In particular, the chapter shows that observable behavioral patterns typically account for social and psychological differences that cannot be observed directly. Therefore, the analysis of behavioral patterns is important from a human sciences point of view because it helps to understand how people work. Furthermore, it is becoming increasingly important from a technological point of view because observable behavior can be thought of as the physical, machine detectable trace of social and psychological phenomena. In particular, if it is possible to automatically detect and interpret behavioral patterns, it means that machines can make sense of social and psychological phenomena in the same way as people do.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMultimodal Behavior Analysis in the Wild
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances and Challenges
EditorsXavier Alameda-Pineda, Elisa Ricci, Nicu Sebe
Pages 269-288
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780128146026
ISBN (Print)9780128146019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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