Dr. Paul Ekman and Recognition of Microexpressions

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In the textbook (and in lecture) Dr. Paul Ekman and his work in emotions and facial expressions were mentioned. Dr. Ekman proposed that there are universal expressions that people everywhere share, the seven primary emotions being happiness, sadness, surprise, anger, disgust, fear and contempt. However, there are also combinations of expressions and emotions; for example, anger and disgust shown together is interpreted as scorn. Ekman's research has been used to teach members of law enforcement how to identify micro expressions (extremely short unconscious facial expressions) so that they can tell whether or not someone is lying or poses a threat. I think this would be a great skill to try and develop; imagine how useful it would be to know how people really feel. This website has a great little application that lets you try and identify micro expressions, although I found it very difficult.... What I thought was more interesting, however, is this video where Dr. Ekman explains a little bit about his work and describes one of the experiments that they did related to micro expressions. Of course, the television series "Lie to Me" (which was great and now, unfortunately, cancelled) is based loosely on Dr. Ekman and his research. However, in the show there are certain people that are "naturals:" people that can read micro expressions naturally, without studying them. I wonder whether or not naturals really exist because it seems like an amazing ability to have.

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This page contains a single entry by krach018 published on November 6, 2011 8:23 PM.

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