Why Do People Lie?

9 Motives for Telling Lies Original excerpt from “Telling Lies” (p. 329-330) September 26, 2018 Reading between the lies Why do people lie? Such a simple question should come with a simple answer (but doesn’t, unfortunately). There are indications, however, that most of us share the same the motives for telling lies. Numbers don’t lie My data collected during interviews with children and from questionnaires completed …

Emotional Awareness for Children

A new approach to provide emotional skills for children July 11, 2018 A human experience We are the only creatures capable of attaching words to memories, anticipations, and plans; it is this unique ability that also allows us to think about emotional experiences, real or imagined, that we may not be feeling at that very moment. In its earliest stages, this …

Fear, Lies and Scott Peterson

How signs of fear can tell us everything and nothing. Original excerpt published September 2009 Show no fear Since the signs of fear look exactly the same for a liar afraid of being caught and a truthful person afraid of being disbelieved, signs of that emotion are useless unless there is reason to believe that only the liar will be …

Verbal Deceit

Why liars choose their words carefully Excerpt from Telling Lies by Paul Ekman, PhD What liars pay attention to When lying, people usually do not monitor, control, and attempt to disguise all of their behavior; they probably couldn’t even if they wanted to. Instead, we tend to participate in verbal deceit, showing the most concern about choice of words. Liars censor …

Smile Mask

Using emotional masks to pull off deceit March 28, 2018 Excerpt from “Telling Lies” by Paul Ekman, PhD The importance of the smile Any emotional expression can be falsified and used to conceal any other emotion. The smile mask, which is the most frequently employed of the emotional masks, serves as the opposite expression of the negative emotions – fear, …

Your Emotional Reactions are being Tracked

Do you care about online privacy? December 13, 2017 You’re being watched I am warning you: not only are your online habits being tracked and sold (likely without your permission), but so are your most personal, intimate thoughts and feelings about what you are seeing. Et tu, Amazon? Even using a Kindle gives away a lot of information that you …

Spanish Micro Expressions Training Tools

Paul Ekman Group upgrades tools with new feature for Spanish training in micro expression detection November 22, 2017 Striving to provide more inclusive educational opportunities, the Paul Ekman Group is now offering subtitles for Spanish Micro Expressions Training Tools, as well as closed captioning in English to support ESL and deaf or hard of hearing students. Our new subtitle and …

Las Vegas Shooter's Motivations

The Las Vegas Shooter’s Motivations

Looking to understand Stephen Paddock

October 18, 2017 While it’s easy to understand the horror he inflicted, truly comprehending the motivations of Stephen Paddock (the Las Vegas shooter), let alone empathizing with his outlook, is a very long reach. From news reports, it seems clear he was intent on having his actions publicly recognized. But to what end? Could it be just as simple as …

Cultivating Emotional Balance

A Special CEB Teacher Training Opportunity

A Letter from the Other Ekman

A Letter from the Other Ekman By Eve Ekman, PhD October 5, 2017 I am writing this letter to let you know about a special training opportunity which is very close to my heart and mind. The training is to become a certified Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB) teacher . Teaching CEB to nearly a thousand students in the last eight …

September 11th: Then and Now

Remembering the September 11th attacks through the eyes of an emotions expert September 11, 2017 It was sixteen years ago on September 11th that the twin towers in New York City were destroyed by the airplanes that flew into them. It was a shock. Not since 1941, when Pearl Harbor was targeted, had America been attacked, and even then it …

My Six Discoveries

My Six Discoveries

One scientist. Six discoveries. Fifty-five years in the making.

August 1, 2017 Number 1: Nonverbal behaviors provide accurate information. And it is not obscure; most people can derive at least some of that information with no trouble. It may be surprising now, but the general consensus when I started my research was that judgments based on facial expression and bodily movements were at best a source of stereotypes. Clinicians …

The President’s Personality: Reconsidered

New thoughts inspired by our current president

July 18, 2017 I subtitled this ‘Reconsidered’ because it was first written in September 2016. With a new president in office, I offer some additional thoughts prompted by what he has said and done. Presidential biographers, as well as experts, who have advised more than one president have said that the president’s personality has an important effect on how he …

Rent A Womb

Surrogacy and the Rights of the Child May 9, 2017 by Mary Ann Mason and Tom Ekman   Mary Ann Mason is the COO of the Paul Ekman Group and the wife of psychologist, Paul Ekman. She is a national expert in children’s rights, child custody issues and family law and policy. Tom Ekman is a writer, teaches environmental science …

Lie to Me: Reality vs. Hollywood

The Truth Behind Lie to Me

Science of Lie to Me

As featured on the Lie to Me website (www.lietome.com) June 6, 2017 The beginning It was the very successful producer Brian Grazer’s idea, not mine. Googling him, I learned that Brian had produced A Beautiful Mind, and many other blockbusters. One of his assistants called, asking for a meeting to discuss creating a TV series based on my research. Would …

Mottos I live by

Mottos I Live By

Inspiration behind my success April 12, 2017 With no parent to guide my passage through the bumps encountered emerging from adolescence into adulthood (mother died when I was 14, and I did not speak to my father for a decade afterwards), I deliberately sought mottos I could use to help me navigate. Three played an important role: Never take no …

Cultivating Emotional Balance Teacher Training

CEBTT The Cultivating Emotional Balance Training emerged from the Destructive Emotions dialogue between behavioral scientists and the Dalai Lama, Buddhist monks, and scholars at the Mind and Life Institute in Dharamsala, India, in March of 2000. At the culmination of this meeting the Dalai Lama requested that the important ideas raised in these sessions, specifically how to manage the everyday …

“Atlas of Emotions” Event

San Francisco Exploratorium Emotions Education Join Drs. Paul and Eve Ekman as they discuss their latest project, Atlas of Emotions, at the San Francisco Exploratorium on Thursday, March 30. The Atlas of Emotions is an online interactive tool that has been accessed by over 700,000 individuals across the globe. This emotions education tool was funded by the Dalai Lama Trust …

Rethinking Love

Is love an emotion? February 14, 2017 Lasting Love 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 …

Despair and Exaltation: Our Country Divided

2016 US Presidential Election November 9, 2016 We all know the election was very close. Hillary Clinton had slightly more of the popular vote, but Donald Trump had the edge in the electoral vote, thereby winning the election for the Presidency. In a sense, then, both candidates’ supporters have something to celebrate. The losers in the electoral vote, those who …

“Nonverbal Messages: Cracking the Code”

Excerpt taken from Introduction (pp. ix – xiv) November 1, 2016 “What motivated me to spend fifty years investigating facial expressions, gestures, emotion and lies? Why these topics, which had been abandoned as fruitless by the academic establishment?… In much of my life I have been a bit oppositional, some would say rebellious, so I am not surprised that I …

Constructive Anger

How to deal with anger.

September 22, 2016 The following excerpt about constructive anger is taken from the book of dialogue between the Dalai Lama and myself, entitled Emotional Awareness (2009). Having just reread it, I found nothing to change; I still believe it raises the right question, makes a useful suggestion and offers a practice to learn it. It is only when life itself …

Emblematic Slips

The meaning of our movements and gestures. September 7, 2016 Types of Movement I don’t use the term gesture because it is too imprecise. Instead, I distinguish three very different ways in which movements (usually of the hands, but sometimes of the head or shoulders) provide information. Illustrators is a term I coined for those movements that occur during speech …