Psychologist Paul Ekman: Getting to Know the Man Behind the Success

An Intimate Paul Ekman Interview

December 26, 2018 The world knows Dr. Ekman as a celebrated research psychologist, a best-selling author, a sought-after scientific advisor to Hollywood, and even a “brother” to the Dalai Lama. Earlier this month we set out to get to know Paul, the man behind all the success. Over a meal of his favorite Thai take-out, we talked about everything from …

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 by adults suggests that telling …

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 …

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 a marked disadvantage. But there …

Should We Torture Suspected Terrorists?

A closer look at interrogation techniques

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 …

Spotting Poker Bluffs

Can you tell when someone is bluffing?

May 2014 The game has changed now that TV broadcasts people playing poker In the old days not a word was spoken, and that tradition continues today in some venues. But lies had to be spotted; bluffs called. I learned about this from winners of the International Poker Tournament held each year in Las Vegas. It costs $15,000 to enter …

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 or single, if married, …