We receive many inquiries at the PEG offices. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions, along with our answers. If you’re still stumped or need more information, contact us and we’ll do our best to help you.
How do I get involved with the Paul Ekman Group?
Join our mailing list to receive PEG’S occasional newsletter; you’ll stay up-to-date with important developments, including new publications, events, job postings, internships, and more (we promise not to share your email with others). Or find us on Facebook and Twitter; you can send Paul Ekman questions via #AskEkman.
Can I schedule an interview with Paul Ekman?
Probably; his time is limited but we will try to arrange it. If you are a journalist and want to schedule time for an interview or Skype call, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to meet your needs. If you are hoping to speak with Paul Ekman because you are writing a school paper, we unfortunately cannot assist with your request due to the high volume of student papers we receive. But by all means do post a question to #AskEkman on Twitter.
How do I learn to read micro and subtle expressions?
We suggest you begin with a simple online training program.
We recommend first time users start with Micro Expressions and then proceed to Subtle Expressions. The Subtle Expressions training includes smaller expressions focused on a single part of the face at one time, and helps back up the Micro Expressions training. Now tablet-compatible, the Micro Expressions/Subtle Expressions Combo is our best deal and will significantly improve your ability to recognize micro and subtle expressions of emotion.
Beginners can use : Micro Expressions, or Subtle Expressions.
Intermediate: Micro Expressions Advanced Training. (If you have done some micro expression training and want to improve your score accuracy, we recommend Micro Expressions Advanced Training.)
Expert: Micro Expressions Profile Training
If you have trained in both micro and subtle expressions and reached your highest accuracy score, try the recently added Micro Expressions Profile Training to learn to spot micro expressions from a profile view.
Where do I start if I want to become an expert in facial expressions and emotion?
If you are in school, seek assistance from your school’s guidance or education counselor. These individuals are most able to tailor a response to your specific interests, goals and skills. If you are not in school, seek help from personnel at nearby colleges and universities for the same reasons. At a basic level, we encourage you to seek a degree in Psychology with a specialization in emotions and/or behavior. Beyond this, the field is relatively new and continues to develop.
Here are some tips and resources we hope will help you on your way: you might explore the research papers listed on our site and contact the authors to seek their advice. Follow our blog and Facebook pages; we’ll be posting about recent studies and related investigations; you might get some good ideas about the specific area of study you wish to pursue and learn who is currently active.
For an overview on micro expressions, check our What are Micro Expressions? page.
If you are drawn towards FACS, please note that it is a research tool, takes close to 100 hours to learn. If you want to enhance your ability to recognize emotions, use Subtle Expressions and Micro Expressions, not FACS.
If you want to measure facial movement in a research project, FACS is a tool which can be used in many areas of research; thus, you would do well to think about the application which interests you : e.g., psychology, public health, forensics, etc. Whatever you are drawn to, we recommend that you learn about what people in the field are currently studying. With discretion, you can contact researchers for advice and referrals / see below.
For FACS we recommend a useful resource book: What the Face Reveals: Basic and Applied Studies of Spontaneous Expression Using the Facial Actions Coding System (FACS), edited by Paul Ekman and Erika L Rosenberg. In addition, the authors of the chapters are specialists who may have further resources for you.
Here are some additional colleagues of ours:
Robert W. Levenson, Prof. Of Psychology, UC Berkeley, Director of the Institute of Personality and Social Research and the Berkeley Psychophysiology Laboratory
Dan Cordaro, UC Berkeley, Yale University, researcher of universal emotion expression
We wish you much success in your work and study. Thank you for your interest and … your contribution.
If I want to follow in Paul Ekman’s footsteps what should I study and where?
Psychology, Forensic Psychology…. we’ll be adding more here as we can.
How do I schedule Paul Ekman as speaker for my event?
If you would like Dr. Ekman to speak at your event please see our Contact Us page and use the “Media Inquiries” subject line, or send an email to “email@example.com”. Please provide the following information, if you know it: contact person, company/organization, location, date, attendance / audience, type of presentation (lecture, workshop, discussion, ect.), duration of presentation, topic, Dr. Ekman’s role, synopsis of event, other speakers participating in the conference, AV support, honorarium.
Can I hire Paul Ekman as an expert witness for my case?
Simply put, no. It is the Paul Ekman Group policy not to comment on people currently in litigation.
Will Paul Ekman tell me if a political figure is lying?
No. It is the Paul Ekman Group policy not to comment on a politician currently holding office or running for office. Dr. Ekman can comment on celebrities and former politicians.
Is Paul Ekman available to consult on personal matters involving deception detection regarding romantic partners, children, friends, co workers and family members?
No, this is not our line of work. Additionally, Paul Ekman is not a licensed psychologist. We cannot provide any psychological help.
If I submit a question to you via Facebook or Twitter for #AskEkman are there any subjects that are off-limits?
Yes, It is strict Paul Ekman Group policy not to comment on people currently in litigation or running for office.
What was Paul Ekman’s role in in the FOX TV show 'Lie to Me'? What did he think about the show?
Paul Ekman was the Scientific Consultant for ‘Lie to Me’. Because the show was expressly created for entertainment purposes, it is important to Dr. Ekman that people understand the difference between fact and fiction. You can read about that here . He has also reviewed each episode, and you can read his feedback here.
How do I become a lie detector like Dr. Cal Lightman on 'Lie to Me'?
There is no actual lie detection career. However, you can learn detection skills by training with our Micro Expressions and Subtle Expressions. Once you have acquired these skills, they can be used in many different vocations. For example,
- Many law and security enforcement professionals benefit from these skills.
- Teachers use the skills to better understand their students.
- Doctors and other medical professionals may need to know that their patients are telling them the truth so that they are able to diagnose them quickly and safely.
- Sales personnel find these skills useful in gaining sensitivity to clients’ needs.
- Managers are able better understand their employees.
Most researchers in the field of facial expressions study some area of psychology, namely cultural, behavioral or social psychology.
Here is an article by Maureen O’Sullivan featured in Psychology Today. It offers more information about careers in lie detection.
Once you’ve done the training, there are many jobs to apply for, but “lie detector” isn’t one of them, as far as we know. That said, you can utilize this skill in any job where you are required to work with people. In fact, we can’t think of a job where it would not be beneficial to have a better understanding of the people around you.
Do you have training tools for the iPad?
What new tools are being developed at PEG?
We’ve just released new versions of our emotion recognition tools; Micro Expressions and Subtle Expressions, you can find them here.
We are beta testing Micro Expressions Applied Training. To be used after Micro Expressions and Subtle Expressions, this tool can help you learn how to best respond once you’ve recognized how another person is feeling.
We are developing an interactive online guide for couples to explore how they deal with disagreements, and more generally how well they understand each others’ emotionality. Our new tool is called Charting your Anger Profiles or CAP.