So You Think Knox Had a Guilty Face?

People can't read expressions after all: Ian Leslie
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2011 3:05 PM CDT
Amanda Knox Case Proves People Can't Read Facial Expressions: Guardian
Amanda Knox is escorted to her appeal hearing at Perugia's Court of Appeal on September 29, 2011 in Perugia, Italy.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – We've all wondered about those photos of Amanda Knox smirking and glancing mischievously in court—and we were all dead wrong to do so, writes Ian Leslie in the Guardian. Study after study have shown that people believe they can read each other's facial expressions while revealing little of themselves. In other words, Leslie writes, "I am infinitely subtle, complex and never quite what I seem; you are predictable and straightforward, an open book."

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Italian police and media judged Knox just as plainly. A friend of murder victim Meredith Kercher was widely quoted as saying Knox's "eyes didn't seem to show any sadness"; a video circulated of Knox sharing kisses with her boyfriend near the murder scene. That may seem strange, but "how many of us have returned to our home after a night away to discover that our flatmate has been brutally murdered?" Leslie concludes that eyes aren't windows to the soul after all: They are simply "organs for converting light into electro-magnetic impulses." (Read more Amanda Knox stories.)

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