Learning to Lie

From "Why Kids Lie" by Dr. Paul Ekman (pp. 86-89)

August 27, 2018 Developing the Ability to Lie Many of the abilities that develop with age-abilities necessary for children to take increasing responsibility for themselves — also allow them to be more successful if they choose to lie. Abraham Lincoln is reputed to have said that he didn’t have a good enough memory to lie. But not all lies require …

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 …

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 …

“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 …

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 …

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

Is Honesty the Best Policy? 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 …

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 used torture, a policy justified …

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 rate of mistaken judgments with …

Ineffectively Testing the 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 …

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

Think you can spot a liar? Think again.

November 2, 2015 As seen on Yahoo Health by Temma Ehrenfeld 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 …

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 expressions and gestures. And I …

Welcome to our new Website!

April 2014 Paul Ekman Group Website I’m Paul Ekman. Welcome to the first post of my blog on our new website!  This past year has been exciting as we’ve improved our training products and created new ways for you to connect with us. Our training tools have been expanded and refined, and our most popular modules (Micro Expressions and Subtle Expressions) …

Duping Delight

December, 2009 The Thrill of Lying The Navy warrant officer John Anthony Walker, Jr. was convicted as a spy for the Soviet Union in 1987, and is serving a life sentence. The New York Times said he had been the most damaging spy in history, having helped the Soviets decipher over 200,000 encrypted naval messages. It wasn’t the polygraph that …

Why Lies Fail – Part 2

Why Do Lies Fail? October, 2009 Feeling Guilty Why do lies fail? I asked people “If you could be absolutely certain that your lover would never find out, would you have a one-night stand with a very attractive person?” About half said “no”. They didn’t differ from those who said “yes” (that they would cheat) in whether they were married …

Why People Lie

Reasons for Lying March, 2009 Avoiding Punishment “I thought I was only going 55 miles an hour officer” claims the driver speeding at 70 mph. “My wristwatch stopped so I had no idea that I got home 2 hours after my curfew”, says the teenager. Avoiding punishment is the most frequent reason people tell serious lies, regardless of their age, …

Is Lying Ever Justifiable?

What to Consider when Thinking about Lying

The terrorist who lies to get on board an airplane believes his lie is justifiable. He doesn’t share values with those to whom he lies, in fact he despises them. The undercover vice squad officer, drug enforcement agent, or counter-intelligence agent, are living lies. They believe their lies are righteous, as does our government. Spies who are foreign nationals pretending …