Blog

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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Signs of Lying

Articles About Lying February 28, 2018 Excerpts taken from Dr. Paul Ekman’s scientific autobiography, “Nonverbal Messages: Cracking the Code” (p. 237-239) When is it a lie? Many observable signs of lying have been identified, but they are not always shown by everyone. Their absence does not mean a person is truthful, but their presence, especially […]

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Compassionate Actions

Exploring the feeling of compassion January 31, 2018 Why compassionate actions feel good I believe that it is rewarding, literally, to engage in compassionate actions because such acts generate a feeling of compassion joy. It is not merely that such actions support a favorable view of oneself; whether or not anyone else knows what the […]

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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 […]

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Herramientas de capacitación en español de microexpresiones

Herramientas de capacitación en español de Microexpresiones ahora con leyendas y subtítulos | Grupo Paul Ekman November 22, 2017 Esforzándose por brindar las mismas oportunidades educativas, el Grupo Paul Ekman ahora ofrece Herramientas de Capacitación en Español de Microexpresiones para todos los usuarios, tanto actuales como nuevos! Los módulos originales de Herramientas de Capacitación de […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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A Special CEB Teacher Training Opportunity

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Dangers of Reading Micro Expressions

Do We Really Want People to Learn How to Spot Micro Facial Expressions? June 21, 2017 The truth about micro expressions By definition, micro expressions leak emotions that people don’t want others to know they are feeling. Sometimes, even the person showing the micro is not aware of the emotion that is leaking out. Studying […]

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The Truth Behind Lie to Me

The 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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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“Atlas of Emotions” Event

San Francisco Exploratorium 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 […]

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Growing Old

Reflections on my 83rd Birthday March 14, 2017 While reflecting on aging, sensible living may have played a role, but genetic endowment and luck were more important. Contrary to what I have read other ‘seniors’ to have said, I am not proud, but instead grateful for having lived so long. I still enjoy much of […]

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Rethinking Love

Is love an emotion? February 14, 2017 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 […]

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Anger Can Be Useful

Your anger problem and you January 27, 2017 We shouldn’t try to get rid of anger, which seems to be the mistaken goal of some new age-y groups and some Buddhist-influenced practitioners. Anger is not always destructive; it wouldn’t have been preserved over the course of the evolution of our species if it was inherently […]

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Life as Our Ancestors Lived It

January 11, 2017 In most of the time human beings have lived on Earth, it was in circumstances very different from those we encounter now. I learned about how people might have lived in Stone Age cultures when I lived in one fifty years ago. I chose to do so in order to examine facial […]

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Officials Who Break the Rules

Why do they think they can get away with it? December 14, 2016 A Common Phenomenon Nearly every day we read about some official — the head of a college, a business, a religious organization or a government agency — caught breaking the rules.  Why do such smart people (and the people I am referring […]

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Respectful Disagreements

How to Deal with Disagreement November 29, 2016 I suspect that some of us encountered disagreements about the president-elect, the state of the country, the world, and what to do about any or all of it during our holiday gatherings. How can we best deal with disagreements when they are about matters we care about? When […]

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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 […]

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“Nonverbal Messages: Cracking the Code”

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 […]

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The President’s Personality

President Personality Traits October 11, 2016 Evaluating Personality You don’t need my expertise in evaluating personality from demeanor to have been struck by the night and day differences between Donald J. Trump and Hillary R. Clinton in their recent debates. Does either one of them have the traits most desirable in a president? To help […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Should We Want a President Who Can’t or Won’t Lie?

August 25, 2016 Presidents and Lying Would it be desirable to have a president who always told the truth; who played with his cards face up? Would that serve the national interest? Only if all those the president dealt with, domestically and internationally, did the same, and they won’t. Otherwise our president would be at […]

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Should We Torture Suspected Terrorists?

July 26, 2016 Suspected Terrorists The Republican candidate for the presidency has recommended torturing suspected terrorists. While former Vice President Dick Cheney was known to advocate the use of torture in some circumstances, many thought torture had been abandoned by President Obama. The president chose not to condemn those who in the past may have […]

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Eve Ekman on Cultivating Emotional Balance

June 23, 2016 Finding Insight in Awareness Our emotional responses shape our experience of the world. Emotions can feel profoundly enriching, as when we feel pride from great success or the elation of new love. They can also feel painfully unbearable, as with profound grief or embarrassment. Sometimes we may want to hold on to […]

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Our Emotional Reactions to Terrorism

June 22, 2016 Untangling a Complex Emotional Impact Most of us have no trouble recognizing what emotion we feel unless for some reason we don’t think that we should be feeling that emotion. But the tragic events in Paris, San Bernardino and now Orlando are likely to have had a complex emotional impact, which might […]

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Why I Don’t Call the Dalai Lama “Your Holiness”

May 25, 2016 As many of you are already aware, Eve Ekman and I just recently released the Atlas of Emotions, a visual exploration of the human range of emotions. It was the Dalai Lama who asked me to make a map of emotions so people could navigate to a calm state of mind. This led […]

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Paul Ekman on The Takeaway

Listen to Paul Ekman on The Takeaway, a national public radio show, co-produced by WNYC, PRI, New York Times, & WGBH Friday May 20, 2016: What is the Atlas of Emotions and why did the Dalai Lama ask Dr. Paul Ekman to create it? The Atlas of Emotions entails making us aware of the complexity […]

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How I Became Friends with the Dalai Lama

May 16, 2016 A Happy Accident Like most other important events in my life, meeting the Dalai Lama was not a deliberate choice, but an accident. I avoided anything about him, regarding the interest in the Dalai Lama as just another bay area cult like Synanon. But when my then 15-year-old daughter Eve came back […]

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Introducing the Atlas of Emotions

May 10, 2016 I am pleased to announce the launch of our newest project, the Atlas of Emotions: www.atlasofemotions.com. The Atlas was featured on Saturday in the New York Times. The Dalai Lama said that we needed a map to get to the new world and asked whether I could create a map of the […]

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Atlas of Emotions Press Release

May 9, 2016 Backed by funding from the Dalai Lama, Dr. Paul Ekman and Dr. Eve Ekman announce the launch of the Atlas of Emotions www.atlasofemotions.com San Francisco, California – Dr. Paul Ekman and his daughter, Dr. Eve Ekman, have built the world’s first interactive mapping of how emotions influence our lives, titled the Atlas of […]

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Atlas of Emotions in the New York Times

A Map of Emotions May 6, 2016 As featured in The New York Times (Inner Peace? The Dalai Lama Made a Website for That) ROCHESTER, Minn. — The Dalai Lama, who tirelessly preaches inner peace while chiding people for their selfish, materialistic ways, has commissioned scientists for a lofty mission: to help turn secular audiences into […]

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What Scientists Who Study Emotion Agree About

April 12, 2016 Originally published in the Perspectives on Psychological Science What Scientists Who Study Emotion Agree About Paul Ekman University of California, San Francisco and Paul Ekman Group, LLC Abstract In recent years, the field of emotion has grown enormously—recently, nearly 250 scientists were identified who are studying emotion. In this article, I report […]

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Trusting Can Be Dangerous

December 8, 2015 Misjudging a Peron I have spent a lot of time in the last thirty years advising police, both regional and national, on how to evaluate truthfulness. You can see some of the training tools we used here. Police make mistakes, not just with Black people, although implicit or explicit racism causes a higher […]

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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 […]

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Ineffectively Testing the Effectiveness of TSA

November 11, 2015 The SPOT Program TSA personnel in the SPOT program (Screening Passengers with Observational Techniques) have come under repeated, unjustified criticism. Their failure to catch people pretending to be bad guys is totally irrelevant to whether they will actually catch the real bad guys. Lets get back to the real world.  Money smugglers, […]

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

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. […]

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Dr. Paul Ekman on Torture

August 17, 2015 As seen in the Huffington Post I was approached soon after 9/11 by a senior psychologist, who held office in APA, to participate in the government’s newly developing interrogation program. I declined, although I had already developed techniques for establishing better emotional connections with interviewees, through my work on nonverbal behavior, facial […]

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Paul Ekman Alumni Awards

July 20, 2015 This summer, Dr. Paul Ekman received two awards from two universities dear to his heart: UCSF’s 150th Anniversary Alumni Excellence Award and University of Chicago’s Professional Achievement Award Below are photos from both ceremonies. Paul Ekman is a well-known psychologist and co-discoverer of micro expressions. He was named one of the 100 most influential […]

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The Science of “Inside Out”

July 3, 2015 As seen on the New York Times How Emotions Work FIVE years ago, the writer and director Pete Docter of Pixar reached out to us to talk over an idea for a film, one that would portray how emotions work inside a person’s head and at the same time shape a person’s […]

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A Force for Good

June 22, 2015 A note from Daniel Goleman: As I was interviewing the Dalai Lama for my book A FORCE FOR GOOD: The Dalai Lama’s Vision for Our World, Paul Ekman’s work came up repeatedly. The Dalai Lama places great importance, for one, on Paul’s mapping the emotions – a tool that can help people […]

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