Is Love an Emotion?

is love an emotion

Is Love an Emotion

November 11, 2015

Emotions Come and Go

Is love an emotion? Let’s put aside loving your job or a piece of clothing in which the use of the word “love” is as a superlative. That still leaves romantic love and parental love: Are either of these emotions? I think not and here’s why-the time frame for emotions and love are radically different. Emotions sometime last as little as a few seconds, rarely more than an hour. Emotions come and go. If we recollect that we were mad for an hour or afraid for an hour close examination reveals that actually we felt that emotion a number of times within the hour, it wasn’t one continuous emotional episode.

Love is a Commitment

In contrast, parental love is not momentary but endures for a lifetime. It is a commitment. Loving your children doesn’t mean that you might be afraid of the risks that they take, annoyed when they don’t show up for a meeting with you, sad when they are disappointed, and happy when they succeed.

While romantic love does not usually endure as long as parental love, sometimes it does, and even when it doesn’t, it’s not a momentary state but again a committed attachment during which many different emotions are felt. In parental love and romantic love, you care, you’re involved, and you’re more susceptible to experiencing a variety of emotions. And those emotions don’t endure, they come and go, lasting only seconds or at most minutes not a lifetime as is found in parental love and hoped for in romantic love.

Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 50 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you.

Ineffectively Testing the Effectiveness of TSA

effectiveness of TSA

Effectiveness of TSA

 

The SPOT Program

November 11, 2015

Trouble with ineffective testing
TSA personnel in the SPOT (Screening Passengers with Observational Techniques) program have come under repeated, unjustified criticism. Their failure to catch people pretending to be bad guys is totally irrelevant to whether they can, or will, be able to catch the real bad guys. To test that, we have to get back to the real world.

Real emotions lead to real results
For money and weapons smugglers (and, much more rarely, terrorists), the goal is to try to get through airport security without being SPOTted. My research, and the research of many other scientists, has found that when there’s a lot to lose, such as death or imprisonment, the emotions generated are intense and very hard to conceal so they often leak out in what I call micro expressions.

The problem with faking emotions
SPOT personnel undergo micro expressions training to learn to detect these and other signs of emotional overload. Whether it be money or 72 virgins, the promise of a great reward if successful (and the threat of dire punishment for failing) puts an incredible amount of pressure on a person’s ability to think clearly. This results in what we call cognitive overload , and causes subtle changes in a person’s speech. SPOT personnel are trained to detect these subtle signs of emotional and cognitive overload, which explains why the play-actors went undetected; with nothing to lose and nothing to gain if their “bombs” were detected, they wouldn’t show the signs of cognitive or emotional overload.

A SPOTty outlook
I am all for testing the SPOT program, but let’s not do it in such a shoddy, half-baked, invalid fashion – that only wastes government money and smears a valid, much-needed layer of airport security. In a never publicly released study by the American Institute of Research, people identified by the TSA SPOTters were fifty times more likely to be wanted felons or smugglers than those selected at random. This evidence says that the system is working. Does that mean we shouldn’t continue to look for more ways to improve our security methods? Absolutely not, but let’s be grateful for the layers of security currently in place, too.

 

Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 50 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you.

5 Signs of Lying That Aren’t as Foolproof as You’d Think

signs of lying

Signs of Lying

November 2, 2015

As seen on Yahoo Health by Temma Ehrenfeld

Think you can spot a liar? Think again.

Too bad every liar isn’t Pinocchio, with a tell-all nose. But do our faces give lying away in more subtle ways? The answer is often yes — though the science of exactly how is surprisingly complex.

For many people, lying is stressful — so you might think that that stress would reveal itself blatantly via body language. But supposedly obvious “giveaways” aren’t reliable indicators of dishonesty, experts say. Unease could have many causes.

That’s not to say having a strange feeling about the way someone is acting doesn’t mean something. If someone’s body language is making your gut shout “liar,” investigate further. After all, research suggests that intuitions about lying may be more accurate than conscious judgment. In one study, participants watched videos of “suspects” in a mock-crime interview, some of whom were lying. They were able to pick out the liars only 43 percent of the time, less than by chance. In a separate test of unconscious associations, however, they were more likely to link the liars to words like “untruthful” and “dishonest.”

Think you can spot a liar? Here are five supposed “tells” that aren’t as foolproof as you may think.

Fidgeting

It’s the classic sign of lying. However, “liars generally don’t appear to be more fidgety,” says Bella DePaulo, a social psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who co-authored a large meta-analysis of studies of lying. In fact, “some truthful people who know they’re under suspicion will fidget,” points out world-renowned lying expert Paul Ekman, author of Emotions Revealed: Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life.

Blinking

Lying can require more concentration than usual. Some research suggests that people blink less when they’re thinking harder — for example, when they’re recalling an eight-digit number, compared to one with four digits. In experiments in which some people were instructed to lie and others weren’t, the liars blinked less. But … it depends why you’re lying and how you feel. Anxiety can cause more blinking, says DePaulo, especially if “people were lying about a transgression.”

Dilated Pupils

Dilated pupils are another indication of tension and concentration. This can show up both when liars are thinking hard and when they’re feeling anxious. However, even with an odd sign like this, you can also get “false-positives,” since people can be highly anxious and overthinking the details even when they’re innocent.

Eye Contact

DePaulo found that liars avoid eye contact when they’re highly motivated not to be caught. Let’s say you’re questioning your S.O. about something, and he locks eyes with you during his denial. He could still be lying, but he isn’t anxious about it — maybe because he knows you don’t have hard evidence about his wrongdoing.

Differences in the Way a Person Acts

“She just seems different. I know my girlfriend/wife/sister/mother, and that’s not the way she acts.” We think that because we know intimately how someone usually sounds and moves, we’ll notice tell-tale differences when he or she is lying. Alas, that’s not so — just the opposite. “When we become friends, lovers, or parents, we become blind,” Ekman says. In Behind the Door of Deceit, DePaulo describes research showing that sometimes a perfect stranger can beat romantic partners at detecting each other’s lies

So if these supposed “tells” aren’t really tells at all, how can you catch a liar?

Ekman argues that the key is to catch subtle, fleeting, or tiny micro-expressions — expressions that come and go on people’s faces so quickly you normally wouldn’t notice them, unless you knew to look for them. Ekman zeroed in on these most-minute expressions while he was devising a coding system for facial muscle movements (part of his research in developing a complete list of facial expressions). Examining videotapes, he caught movements that lasted as short as a 20th of a second. These quick, usually unnoticed expressions, he says, tend to reveal emotions that we want to conceal.

Ekman gives the example of the wife of a murder victim. As the police interrogate her, she might be earnestly cooperative, but flash a micro-expression of anger at a particular question. Is she angry because the question is exposing a lie? Let’s say she smiles ever-so-briefly for no obvious reason. Is she smiling with triumph?

On the other hand, her attempt to conceal her emotion may be normal social behavior. She could be angry at the police because she wants privacy. She might be smiling at a happy memory she shared with her husband before he died.

It is possible to learn how to recognize and detect these signs in real time — Ekman says you can master the skill after four days of training, and offers instructional videos to do so. He cautions against relying on intuitions that someone is lying, since we’re all prey to our assumptions and prejudices. Sharpen your eye instead: Although you may not become Sherlock Holmes, training could help you see more, especially subtle expressions, which are brief but not micros. Lifted eyebrows, for example, show surprise. If just the inner corner of an eyebrow goes up, you may be seeing an early stage of sadness.

As seen on Yahoo Health by Temma Ehrenfeld 5 Signs of Lying That Aren’t as Foolproof as You’d Think

Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2009. He has worked with many government agencies, domestic and abroad. Dr. Ekman has compiled over 50 years of his research to create comprehensive training tools to read the hidden emotions of those around you.