Face It! - Dr. Ekman's Blog

#PictureCompassion: What Compassion Looks Like to You!

We’ve asked our community to join in on our movement for Global Compassion by participating in our #PictureCompassion campaign. After looking through many inspiring photos, we’ve selected our top 5 favorites!                   A Note from Dr. Paul Ekman:  As our submitted photos show, compassion is the desire to help someone who is suffering or […]

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Catching Liars

August 2014 From a distance of twenty feet, without your knowledge or consent, the surveillance cameras, microphones and physiological sensors apply computer algorithms to process your gait, facial expression, gestures, voice, posture, heart rate, blood pressure and skin temperature — determining within seconds if you are lying or telling the truth. “Diogenes,” the lie catching […]

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#AskEkman: How do I become a facial expression expert?

July 2014 The most popular questions we receive at the Paul Ekman Group are questions relating to which courses and universities are best equipped to promote a career in becoming an expert in facial expressions and emotion. The answer to this question depends on what level of education you are seeking, and what topic interests […]

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Is Snowden Lying?

June 2014 Many readers have asked whether Snowden was lying in his recent NBC-TV interview, knowing I have worked for the government and corporations spotting lies by how someone behaves. When I attempt to evaluate truthfulness I need to be the one asking the questions, able to ask follow up questions, allowed as many hours […]

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Who Should Know How You Are Feeling?

May 2014 Where you go on the Internet, where you travel on city streets, that and more is all up for grabs Google? NSA? Walmart? It soon may be possible for them to track your emotions in addition to your whereabouts without your knowledge or consent. No regulations from the government to prevent massive surveillance […]

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Global Compassion and the Nigerian Schoolgirls

May 2014 Why do we care when we see the Nigerian schoolgirls who are the prisoners of Boko Haram? We DO watch. Most of us don’t change channels. Why? There is nothing which ordinarily might catch our eyes: no one is badly injured, or beautifully dressed, or posing in a sexy way. And no one […]

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Spotting Poker Bluffs

May 2014 The game has changed now that TV broadcasts people playing poker. In the old days not a word was spoken, and that tradition continues today in some venues. But lies had to be spotted; bluffs called. I learned about this from winners of the International Poker Tournament held each year in Las Vegas. […]

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Welcome to our new Website!

April 2014 I’m Paul Ekman. Welcome to the first post of my blog on our new website!  This past year has been exciting as we’ve improved our training products and created new ways for you to connect with us. Our training tools have been expanded and refined, and our most popular modules (METT and SETT) are […]

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Darwin’s Claim of Universals in Facial Expression Not Challenged

March 2014   Paul Ekman, Emeritus Professor, University of California, San Francisco Dacher Keltner, Professor, University of California, Berkeley   Lisa Feldman-Barrett’s recent contribution (New York Times, February 28, 2014) seeks to undermine the science showing universality in the interpretation of facial expressions. In her eyes, recent evidence “challenges[ing] the theory, attributed to Charles Darwin, […]

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Duping Delight

Written December, 2009 The Navy warrant officer John Anthony Walker, Jr. was convicted as a spy for the Soviet Union in 1987, and is serving a life sentence. The New York Times said he had been the most damaging spy in history, having helped the Soviets decipher over 200,000 encrypted naval messages. It wasn’t the […]

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The Neglected Clue: Mini’s

Written November, 2009 It was the last day of the Irangate Congressional hearings. Lt. Colonel Oliver North, impressively uniformed, very much in command of the situation, listened attentively as Congressman Lee Hamilton praised North’s many years of dedicated service to the country. Then without warning Hamilton said “but you almost brought a President down”. North […]

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Why Lies Fail – Part 2

Written October, 2009 I asked people “If you could be absolutely certain that your lover would never find out, would you have a one-night stand with a very attractive person?” About half said “no”. They didn’t differ from those who said “yes” (that they would cheat) in whether they were married or single, if married, […]

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Why Lies Fail – Part 1

Written September, 2009 Not all do. “Can’t talk now, just on the way out the door”. “I love your new dress.” “What a great evening, thanks so much.” “Sorry, couldn’t get a babysitter.” Such lies of every day life usually go undetected because the target wants to be misled. It would be rude if the […]

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Why People Lie

Written March, 2009 “I thought I was only going 55 miles an hour officer” claims the driver speeding at 70 mph. “My wristwatch stopped so I had no idea that I got home 2 hours after my curfew”, says the teenager. Avoiding punishment is the most frequent reason people tell serious lies, regardless of their […]

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Is Lying Ever Justifiable?

Written February, 2009 The terrorist who lies to get on board an airplane believes his lie is justifiable. He doesn’t share values with those to whom he lies, in fact he despises them. The undercover vice squad officer, drug enforcement agent, or counter-intelligence agent, are living lies. They believe their lies are righteous, as does […]

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