What are Micro Expressions?
Micro expressions are very brief facial expressions, lasting between 1/25th and 1/15th of a second. They occur when a person either deliberately or unconsciously conceals an emotion being felt.
Any one of the seven emotions found to have a universal signal may appear in a micro expression: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, contempt, surprise and happiness.
Haggard and Isaacs were the first to describe micro expressions (calling them “micromomentary expressions”), in their study of psychotherapeutic interviews. They explained the appearance of micros as the result of repression in which the patient did not know how he or she was feeling. Haggard and Isaacs also implied that micros could not be recognized at real time. Ekman and Friesen a few years later showed that with training anyone could learn to see micros at real time. Ekman & Friesen also broadened the explanation of why micros occur. Micro expressions occur when people deliberately try to conceal their feelings from others as well as when they have concealed their feelings from themselves through repression. Importantly, they look the same; you cannot tell from the micro itself whether it is the product of suppression or repression.
Macro: normal expressions usually last between ½-second and 4 seconds. They often repeat, and fit with what is said and the sound of the person’s voice.
Micro: These are very brief, usually lasting between 1/15 and 1/25 of a second. They often display a concealed emotion and are the result of suppression or repression.
False: A deliberately-made simulation of an emotion not being felt.
Masked: A false expression made to cover a macro expression.