A Minimal Face Portraying a Complex Emotion
Credits: Illustration by Ben Wiseman for NY Times blog, "is Breakfast Overrated?" by Gretchen Reynolds, August 21, 2014.
We will assign intelligence and personality to any enclosed pattern with two dots/circles above, and one dot/circle/line below; we see faces whenever these cues are present.
In this NY Times illustration, the face seems to present a confused look, which is quite logical when you consider that the right half (cover the other half and see for yourself) is happy, the left half sad. The break in the middle of the happy/sad mouth makes the inner contradiction even stronger, as though it is going on independently of the rest of the face. If the face represents breakfast, it expresses deep ambiguity as to whether breakfast is overrated or not.