Micro Expressions

Topics: Paul Ekman, Facial expression, Facial Action Coding System Pages: 3 (1032 words) Published: November 12, 2012
Micro-expressions are brief, involuntary facial expressions caused by a certain emotion experienced by the person. These expressions are shown on the face, and are universal in the sense that every human being, no matter what origin, or where they live it will be the same as everyone else. These expressions are also known for their difficulty in hiding them. They usually show one of the seven basic universal emotions: Disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise and contempt. (John)

The study of Micro-expressions hasn’t been around for very long. They were first discovered by psychologists Haggard and Isaacs in 1966. (Humantill). In there study they stated that they discovered these “micro-momentary” facial expressions while watching tapes of sessions between psychologist and patient, when they were looking for communication between them that was non-verbal. A few years later in 1969, Ekman and Friesen started including micro-expressions in there studies. (Humantill) They included there findings in the book “Telling Lies” (1985). Although these findings were reported in the mid to late 1960’s, the first time micro-expressions were included in a scientific article stating they exist was by Porter and ten Brinke in 2008 (Humantill). Micro-expressions are controlled by the muscles frontalis, corregator and risorius in the face. These movements are fractions of a second long, around 1/25 to 1/15 of a second. (ScienceDaily) The muscles are almost impossible to control, and being able to detect them is just as hard. Paul Ekman is known as the for-leading Psychologist that studies these micro-expressions (Humantill).

These glimpses into the person’s true emotions are sometimes caught on camera when the subject is being them self and becoming a happier individual for the shot. When asked to smile or act happy, a subject cannot provide a natural, unique facial expression that has absolutely no micro-expressions present. When the subject feels open and in a...
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