In this study by Nicholas Rule and Nalini Ambady, researchers asked participants to rate these CEO’s based on their picture. Their ratings accurately correlated to the amount of profits the CEOs made. Answers: J. David J. O’reilly (Chevron), G. James Mulva (Conoco Phillips), C. H. Lee Scott Jr. (Walmart).
Have you ever been lied to? by your boss? the friendly salesman? the insurance agent? Have your ever wished you could find a way to know they are lying?
If you answered Yes to any of the above questions, then you must pick up this skill of reading micro-expressions.
A microexpression is a brief, involuntary facial expression that is shown on the face of humans according to the emotions that are being experienced. Unlike regular pro-longed facial expressions, it is difficult to fake a microexpression which occur as fast as 1/15 to 1/25 of a second.
Knowing how to read and interpret microexpressions is an essential part of understanding nonverbal behavior and reading people.
Dr. Paul Ekman, whose research is the premise of the show Lie to Me, has done groundbreaking research on decoding the human face. He has shown that facial expressions are universal and that the face is the best indicator of a person’s emotions. Yet, it is often overlooked.
He identifies seven universal microexpressions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt. Learning to read them is incredibly helpful for understanding the people in our lives because emotions not only cause facial expressions, but facial expressions also cause emotions.
Here’s how you can learn to spot them.
1) Surprise Microexpression:
-The brows are raised and curved
-Skin below the brow is stretched
-Horizontal wrinkles across the forehead
-Eyelids are opened, white of the eye showing above and below
-Jaw drops open and teeth are parted but there is not tension or stretching of the mouth
2) Fear Microexpression:
-Brows are raised and drawn together, usually in a flat line
-Wrinkles in the forehead are in the center between the brows, not across
-Upper eyelid is raised, but the lower lid is tense and drawn up
-Upper eye has white showing, but not the lower white
-Mouth is open and lips are slightly tensed or stretched and drawn back
3) Disgust Microexpression:
-Upper lid is raised
-Lower lip is raised
-Nose is wrinkled
-Cheeks are raised
-Lines show below the lower lid
This is the expression you make when you smell something bad.
4) Anger Microexpression:
-The brows are lowered and drawn together
-Vertical lines appear between the brows
-Lower lid is tensed
-Eyes hard stare or bulging
-Lips can be pressed firmly together with corners down or square shape as if shouting
-Nostrils may be dilated
-The lower jaw juts out
(All three facial areas must be engaged to not have any ambiguity)
5) Sadness Microexpression:
-Inner corners of the eyebrows are drawn in and then up
-Skin below eyebrow triangulated, with inner corner up
-Corner of the lips are drawn down
-Jaw comes up
-Lower lip pouts out
*This is the hardest microexpression to fake!
To find out if your boss is lying to you, get your own copy of Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions From Facial Expressions today.