Micro Expressions

What are micro expressions?

Micro expressions are facial expressions that occur within 1/25th of a second. They are involuntary and expose a person’s true emotions. They can happen as a result of conscious suppression or unconscious repression. These facial expressions are universal, meaning they occur on everyone around the world.

Why are micro expressions important?

Everyone flashes micro expressions and no one can hide them. Reading micro expressions is the key to enhanced emotional awareness and deception detection. Learning to spot micro expressions gives you an edge in any social situation.

Who can learn to read micro expressions?

Anyone can learn to spot concealed emotions with proper training. Dr. Ekman, the world’s expert on emotions, created seven training tools to teach you how. Now you can join ranks with agencies such as the CIA, Scotland Yard, Pixar, Apple, McKesson, and more.

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Understanding Micro Expressions

All around the globe we express the same seven universal emotions. They include: anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, contempt, and happiness. Learn the universal language of micro expressions to gain insight into the world of emotions.

Spot concealed emotions

When someone conceals an emotion, “leakage” often occurs on that person’s face. In other words, micro expressions often flash across their face without their knowledge. Most people do not recognize these important clues, but with Dr. Ekman’s tools, you can learn to spot them.

Improve your emotional intelligence

The face provides a universal system of signals in the form of facial expressions. These expressions reflect the real-time fluctuations in a person’s emotional state. Learning to read micro expressions helps you recognize feelings in yourself and others.

Enhance your relationships

Improve your ability to recognize others’ emotions to increase your connection with others. Research has found that people who can spot micro expressions are liked more by co-workers.

Develop your capacity for empathy

When you recognize others’ expressions you become more sensitive to their real feelings. You also become more skilled at distinguishing whether certain emotions are being concealed.

Understand others

Dr. Ekman’s research shows that we often miss facial expressions when they contradict what someone says. When you learn to recognize micro expressions, you can spot the discrepancies between what you hear and what you see.

History of micro expressions

Haggard and Isaacs were the first to describe micro expressions in their study of psychotherapeutic interviews. They first referred to them as micro momentary expressions. They explained their appearance as the result of repression. Haggard and Isaacs also implied that these fleeting expressions could not be recognized in real time. However, Ekman and Friesen later showed that with proper training anyone could learn to see micros as they occurred. Ekman and Friesen also broadened the explanation of why micros occur.

In 1967, Dr. Ekman began to study deception. He started with clinical cases in which the patients falsely claimed they were not depressed. These patients later committed suicide when not under supervision. When patients’ films were examined in slow motion, Ekman and Friesen saw micro expressions which revealed strong negative feelings that the patient was trying to hide.

Micro expressions happen when people hide their feelings from either themselves or others. Importantly, both instances look the same. You cannot tell from the expression itself whether it is the product of suppression (deliberate concealment) or repression (unconscious concealment).