Psychological Principles: Micro-Expressions
From Learn to be a true Social Engineer
Facial muscles make involuntary movements when the body is under stress. The small size of these muscles plus the rapid movement makes these difficult for the untrained eye to see. Lasting only 1/25 of a second, the face has been shown to express the universal emotions: anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness and surprise. Learning to see this rapid expression and putting the correct emotion on it is the key to microexpressions. Several methods of improving your skill have been developed.
Facial Action Coding System (FACS)
Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is a project to code emotions to facial microexpressions. Developed by Paul Ekman and Wallace Friesen in the mid 1970’s, FACS has produced a list of emotions and facial muscles involved. Interestingly, animators have found this list to be useful in making their characters more life like.
Joseph C. Hager, one of the founders with Ekman has a popular “manual” and course that teaches students how to recognize and understand microexpressions. Learning to see faster and understanding of human facial physiology are an important part of facial microexpressions.
A complete list of emotions and muscles is kindly provided by Joseph C. Hager on his web site:
Several other interesting pages are also on the site:
Tests and Training
In recent times some other experts have emerged in the field like Dr. Matsumoto. He provides training on his website that helps one learn to recognize and utilize microexpressions in every day communication.
Lie to Me
In 2008-2009 a television show was launched called "Lie to Me" based on the research of Dr. Paul Ekman. "Lie to Me" is based on the science of microexpressions but with the Hollywood drama that makes good television. Some excellent videos describing microexpressions are linked below from the Hulu "Lie to Me" show page.
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microexpression
- ↑ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_Action_Coding_System
- ↑ http://face-and-emotion.com/dataface/facs/manual/TOC.html
- ↑ http://face-and-emotion.com/dataface/general/guide.jsp
- ↑ http://face-and-emotion.com/dataface/general/homepage.jsp
- ↑ http://www.cio.com/article/facial-expressions-test
- ↑ http://www.humintell.com/
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PFqzYoKkCc
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bu3ayOWHX0w
- ↑ http://www.paulekman.com/
- ↑ http://www.hulu.com/lie-to-me