The face and its expressions, also known as microexpressions, are the window to the soul—if you know how to read them. The good news is we can tell a lot about someone by their face.

The Face of a Leader

Look at these faces of CEOs. Can you tell which ones have the most profitable companies?

Faces of Success

In this study by Nicholas Rule and Nalini Ambady, researchers asked participants to rate these CEOs based on their picture. Their ratings accurately correlated to the level of profit the CEO’s company made. 

Answers: J. David J. O’reilly (Chevron), G. James Mulva (Conoco Phillips), C. H. Lee Scott Jr. (Walmart).

Can You Read Facial Expressions?

Are you good at reading microexpressions? Before reading the guide below, see how well you can identify the 7 universal facial expressions!

I truly believe that knowing how to read faces is one of the 10 most essential People Skills everyone should know. Let’s add this one to your Soft Skills toolbox:

How to Read Microexpressions

Micro expressions are the key to reading faces. Watch my video for in-depth information, as well as how to detect each microexpression!

The secrets to decoding="async" facial expressions

Ready to move on? Here is my guide to understanding the microexpression.

A facial expressions chart detailing the 7 universal expressions
What is a microexpression?

A microexpression is a very brief, involuntary facial expression humans make when experiencing an emotion. They usually last 0.5–4.0 seconds and cannot be faked.

What is microexpression training?

Learning to read microexpressions and decode faces is one of the best people skills you can have. Microexpression training is a way for you to quickly learn each of the 7 microexpressions so that you can spot and respond to them in real life. Learn more about microexpression training here.

Who invented the microexpression?

Microexpressions were first discovered by researchers Haggard and Isaacs. Dr. Paul Ekman popularized the term “microexpression” and greatly expanded the research.

Are there universal emotions?

Yes. Charles Darwin was the first person to promote the idea that people expressed emotions the same way, no matter where they were in the world. Dr. Ekman sought to confirm the answer, so he headed to Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Japan and the United States to find it.

Ekman found that in all these countries, people expressed and identified the 7 universal emotions the same way. He even ventured out to a remote, primitive tribe called the Fore in Papau New Guinea and found that they expressed the same emotions as us.

How do I read microexpressions?

Learning how to read microexpressions is an easy skill to learn and extremely useful in both professional and social life. Read our guide below on how to spot each of the seven microexpressions.

They can occur as fast as 1/15 to 1/25 of a second. You see them everywhere. Bill Clinton showed them during his testimony.

Lance Armstrong showed contempt in his interview with Oprah.

We just have to know what to look for.

The face is the best indicator of a person’s emotions. Yet, it often is overlooked. Dr. Paul Ekman, whose research is the premise of the show Lie to Me, has done groundbreaking research on decoding the human face. He has shown that facial expressions are universal. 

In other words, people in the US make the same face for sadness as indigenous people in Papua New Guinea who never have seen TV or movie characters to model themselves after. He also found that congenitally blind individuals—or those blind since birth—also make the same facial expressions, even though they never have seen other people’s faces. 

Ekman has designated seven facial expressions that are the most widely used and easy to interpret. Learning to read them is incredibly helpful for understanding the people in our lives

If you want to practice reading people’s faces, it is important to know the following basic expressions. I would recommend trying the following faces in the mirror so you can see what they look like on yourself. 

Interesting Note: Researchers have found that if you make the facial expression, you also begin feeling the emotion yourself! Emotions not only cause facial expressions—facial expressions also cause emotions.

The 7 Microexpressions

Surprise Microexpression

Surprise Microexpression - Understanding Facial Expressions
Surprise microexpression example
  • The eyebrows are raised and curved.
  • Skin below the brow is stretched.
  • Horizontal wrinkles show across the forehead.
  • Eyelids are opened, white of the eye showing above and below.
  • Jaw drops open and teeth are parted but there is no tension or stretching of the mouth.

Do you ever wonder why we look surprised? When we raise our eyebrows, we open our eyes wider. This lets other observers see where we are looking much easier…so they can see exactly what we are surprised about.

And if you’ve ever been accused of lying when you were telling the truth, you might have raised your eyebrows and widened your eyes. According to a 2014 study by New York University, this also helps make us look trustworthy. When you widen your eyes, you literally give off signals to others around you that you have nothing to hide.

Surprise can also be helpful in the world of dating and attraction—when someone is attracted to you, you might notice them giving a brief eyebrow raise called the eyebrow flash.

What is an eyebrow flash?

An eyebrow flash is a quick raising and lowering of the eyebrows that usually only lasts a fraction of a second. It is commonly used between people who know each other to indicate familiarity, or used as a sign of attraction and interest.

In a 2008 study by the University of London, researchers set out to find out the power of the eyebrow flash:

  • 6-month year old infants were tested to see if they would follow the gaze of an adult.
  • When the adult looked somewhere without using a microexpression, the infant did not follow the gaze.
  • However, when an eyebrow flash was incorporated, infants followed the adult’s gaze.

In other words, even babies know the importance of an eyebrow flash. We all understand on a deep, biological level that when we see this facial expression…it’s because we saw something interesting (or someone attractive!).

Fear Microexpression

Fear Microexpression - Understanding Facial Experessions
Fear Microexpression Example
  • Eyebrows are raised and drawn together, usually in a flat line.
  • Wrinkles in the forehead are in the center between the eyebrows, not across.
  • Upper eyelid is raised, but the lower lid is tense and drawn up.
  • Eyes have the upper white showing, but not the lower white.
  • Mouth is open and lips are slightly tensed or stretched and drawn back.

The fear microexpression is closely linked to shock, so there are a lot of similarities. But it also has its own purpose—when we are scared and widen our eyes, our field of view increases. This lets us see any threats that might lurk nearby.

Our mouth opens when we are scared because it helps us prepare for two things. First, it readies us in case we need to shout for help if we feel threatened. Second, it prepares us to breathe in a large amount of oxygen. This oxygen is helpful in case we need to run away…or fight the enemy!

And if you have ever seen someone frightened, you might have been frightened, too. That’s completely normal—mirroring other people’s fear is a natural response. A study in 1996 shows that when we see fearful facial expressions, the activity in our amygdala—the part of our brain responsible for fear—increases. 

So when one person displays a fear microexpression, others around them will also open their eyes wider. This allows people around to be better prepared to seek out signs of danger.

Bonus: Do you ever wonder why we cover our mouths when we are shocked or frightened? This is a way of hiding our emotions. It’s a useful gesture if we are scared by nothing too serious. For example, if we are stumbling around in the dark and bump into someone—only to realize that someone is our friend or family member.

Disgust Microexpression:

Disgust Microexpression - How To Read Facial Expressions
Disgust microexpression example
  • Eyes are narrowed.
  • Upper lip is raised.
  • Upper teeth may be exposed.
  • Nose is wrinkled.
  • Cheeks are raised.

Disgust is the expression you make when you smell something bad or hear something nasty. When we squint our eyes in disgust, our visual acuity increases, helping us find the origin of our disgust. It’s also an important microexpression to look out for— if you want to be attractive, science says avoid disgust at all costs. 

Here’s why: in a University of Portsmouth study of 76 heterosexual women, disgust was found to have the biggest negative impact on sexual arousal—even 3 times more than fear. So if you want to be romantic, it’s best to avoid anything disgusting altogether.

Trying to suppress your disgust also has bad effects. The University of Groningen conducted a study in 2009:

  • Participants were asked to suppress their disgust.
  • They were shown images of a dirty toilet or a film depicting an amputation.

Can you guess what happened? These participants began thinking about disgusting things even more! And they also felt more negative in general.

Anger Microexpression:

Angry Microexpression - How To Read Facial Expressions
This example shows the different features of the face when in anger.
  • The eyebrows are lowered and drawn together.
  • Vertical lines appear between the eyebrows.
  • Lower lip is tensed.
  • Eyes are in hard stare or bulging.
  • Lips can be pressed firmly together, with corners down, or in a square shape as if shouting.
  • Nostrils may be dilated.
  • The lower jaw juts out.

(All three facial areas must be engaged to not have any ambiguity)

Unlike the surprise and fear microexpressions, the angry microexpression is characterized by lowered eyebrows. And there’s a reason why. In the 2019 issue of Psychological Science:

  • 101 participants judged the dominance of various avatar pictures.
  • The avatars showed a neutral facial expression, but were either tilted upward, downward, or remained neutral.

The results showed that those with a downward position were perceived as more dominant. That’s because when the head is lowered, eyebrows appear more V-shaped and prominent.

This also means that people find angry people less trustworthy. With their eyebrows lowered and eyes squinted, it becomes harder to “see” the window to the soul, thus leading to lower levels of perceived trust.

People who are genuinely angry might try to hide their angry facial expression in social situations. After all, anger is a stronger social norm violation than sadness or other negative emotions. Therefore, people might reveal only a small tell like a quick scrunching of the eyebrows. 

However, University of Essex researchers found that angry faces are one of the fastest expressions to be detected. This is because we need to be able to quickly tell if the person we are talking to suddenly becomes angry to avoid possible physical harm.

Besides anger, did you know there are hundreds—if not thousands—of different body language cues? We put together a comprehensive, science-backed guide to learn everything body language:

Unlock the Secrets of Charisma

Control and leverage the tiny signals you’re sending—from your stance and facial expressions to your word choice and vocal tone—to improve your personal and professional relationships.

Happiness Microexpression

Faking Microexpressions: Real vs Fake Happiness
Happy microexpression example with real vs fake smile
  • Corners of the lips are drawn back and up.
  • Mouth may or may not be parted, teeth exposed.
  • A wrinkle runs from outer nose to outer lip.
  • Cheeks are raised.
  • Lower eyelid may show wrinkles or be tense.
  • Crow’s feet near the outside of the eyes.

*The expressions on the top are fake happiness, where the side eye muscles are not engaged. The ones on the bottom are real happiness.  See the difference?

People try to fake their happiness all the time. But true happiness cannot be faked. When people are truly happy, they smile in what is known as the Duchenne smile.

What is a Duchenne smile?

The Duchenne smile, coined by French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne, is a genuine smile that comes from true enjoyment. It can be distinguished from a fake smile by the orbicularis oculi muscle, which forms crow’s feet wrinkles around the eyes.

When someone is truly happy, you will notice that their smile also has those wrinkles around their eyes (called the Duchenne marker). Smiles without the Duchenne marker are “fake” or polite smiles.

We are even pre-wired to tell real and fake smiles apart! Researchers at Western University found that our brains perceive microexpressions accompanied with the Duchenne marker as being more genuine and intense. So if you know the happiness microexpression, you can tell real happiness from those who are faking it.

Sadness Microexpression

Sadness Microexpression - Understanding Facial Expressions
Sadness microexpression example
  • Inner corners of the eyebrows are drawn in and then up.
  • Skin below the eyebrows is triangulated, with inner corner up.
  • Corner of the lips are drawn down.
  • Jaw comes up.
  • Lower lip pouts out.

This is the hardest microexpression to fake! It’s also one of the hardest microexpressions to correctly identify. The reason? Sad microexpressions are not very large or noticeable. There’s no large tell like a smile when a person is sad. 

Sadness, unlike surprise, is also one of the longer-lasting microexpressions. People can even develop a resting sad face (similar to RBF). Sadness can also be used as a facial expression to calm down those who are angry. 

Contempt / Hate Microexpression

Contempt Microexpression - How To Read Facial Expressions
Contempt microexpression example
  • One side of the mouth is raised.

What is contempt? Contempt, similar to hate, is a negative feeling of dislike, disrespect, or offensiveness towards someone. It’s the only one of the 7 universal microexpressions that is asymmetrical.

Unlike the disgust microexpression, contempt is characterized by a feeling of superiority over another. When a person feels contempt, he or she may feel like they are right, and the other person is wrong. If you see the contempt microexpression, that’s a bad sign.

Why? According to marriage expert Dr. Gottman, contempt is the most destructive emotion and the number one predictor of divorce. It’s not all bad, though. If you correctly identify contempt, you can turn it around. 

In a study published in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, 83% of rocky relationships that showed negative signs like contempt were able to turn them around—as long as the couples were able to make up successfully after an argument. 

Bonus: Resting Bitch Face (RBF)

Have you ever looked at someone who just LOOKS to be angry/sad/hating the entire universe for no reason? They may just be a sufferer of what is known as resting bitch face (or RBF for short).

The Science of Resting Bitch Face and How to Prevent It

If you are a sufferer like me, you know that whatever you do, RBF does just not go away.

  • Eating a nice meal? RBF.
  • Doing the laundry? RBF.
  • Watching a funny movie with your significant other? RBF.

Bonus #2: The Snarl

The snarl is a facial expression that is characterized by a raised upper lip, lowered eyebrows, flared nostrils, and teeth showing. Snarls rarely happen alone; people usually snarl at others to send an aggressive warning to them. The snarl is unique because it’s basically the disgust and anger emotions combined into one.

Alongside humans, animals such as dogs and wolves also snarl to display their teeth and send a nonverbal message to back off.

Control Your Microexpressions, Control Your Life

Now you may be wondering—why should I control my microexpressions? Other than giving you confidence in social situations, your microexpressions give other people glimpses into your true emotions. And as we covered earlier, people are hardwired to feel microexpressions. That’s whether we like it or not!

When you know microexpressions, you’ll be able to:

  • Appear more confident in meetings, during job interviews, and sales negotiations.
  • Improve your relationships between your significant other, friends, and family members.
  • Discover the true feelings of your clients and partners, both in your professional and personal life.

Charles Darwin described it best:

Every true or inherited movement of expression seems to have had some natural and independent origin. But when once acquired, such movements may be voluntarily and consciously employed as a means of communication.

Charles Darwin

When we learn the microexpressions of others and have control of our own, we have greater control of our own life.

But the truth is…

Identifying microexpressions is only one piece of the puzzle. Maybe it’s time to level up all of your people skills. 

  1. Learn how to Read and Decode these 7 Nonverbal Cues
  2. Learn to understand the science behind each emotion
  3. If you’re really looking to step up your game, you can try our intensive online training to level up your charisma, communicate powerfully, and take command of your presence.

64 replies on “The Definitive Guide to Reading Microexpressions (Facial Expressions)”

  1. Charlene Wright

    thank you I will be sending many families to this site to help them learn about facial expressions.

  2. Marty

    There is a morning news person that at the end of her segment often closes her eyelids very slightly, what does that mean?

  3. Sarah

    I got diagnosed some years ago with Asperger’s Syndrome. I believe this diagnosis to be correct after many false diagnosises. Micro expression training could be very effective to help people like myself, to read faces. It could also reduce neurotypicals, saying a spectrum person is lying when they are NOT. My father would accuse me of lying about something (when I in fact hadn’t) and tell me (while he was very angry) that my eyes were showing I was guilty of lying. While he was standing close to me and yelling in my face about whatever he was angry about, I felt emotionally bored, because he would go on and on and I was not allowed to leave or ignore him. I felt emotionally angry at being falsely accused of something I didn’t do and I would be punished anyway. I left emotionally fear because I didn’t feel physically safe from my father. I felt trying to reason with my father was pointless because he believed I had done what he had accused me of. I did still try to reason with him. I would try to hold my face in a blank look, not happy or sad or angry or other emotion. I would try to hold my face without showing feelings because if I showed feelings it meant I was “superguilty”, more guilty than I was verbally accused of. Did I tell my parents the truth 100% of the time? Absolutely not, they were untrustworthy and didn’t deal with things well. I was safer to tell the truth to other kid’s parents who drank a lot, their relationships with their kids wasn’t always good but it was an honest dysfunctionality. As an adult my parents behaviour continued and they told their false beliefs to authorities. As my parents were similar ages to the authorities they complained to and I didn’t have a spectrum diagnosis (but it had been suggested), it was easy to believe my parents. The fact that there were inconsistencies of logic, things that didn’t make sense behaviorally and the story changing was considered irrelevant. Authorities claim that they could see that I was lying. When you try to apply the techniques that work on an average neurotypical, to someone who is neurodivergant, you can get false positives or harm the person. My parents later got assessed as emotionally, psychologically abusive by a number of professionals. I am not eligible for a domestic violence order/restraining order here in Australia. Australian law prefers physical and sexual violence by the boyfriend or grandfather. Other types of violence or other offenders and you may not get anywhere because it’s too inconvenient or too much to think about for the courts (Australia has no bill of human rights to guarantee human rights). The world needs to study various types of people science, be it the neurodivergant, body language, micro expressions, how the body grows, human behaviour etc. Once the world learns these widely, we can see that there are differences and sameness between all people and that is okay. Those who contribute to these understandings help all people on this planet and should be thanked, for the blessing they give. Thanks.

    1. Kensi Science of People

      Thank you so much for sharing, Sarah. We are all absolutely in need of more listening and understanding! -Kensi | Science of People Team

  4. Samad

    I am in the leadership training game for last 20 years, but for the first time in my life, today, i started practicing facial expressions consciously, thanks to Vanessa for educating me today 🙂

  5. Kilissa Cissoko

    This skill is something I have always worked on with my elementary school music students… to grow creative movement/dramatics/musical expression.

    Your article with the human faces (rather than drawings or emojis) and the videos would be a useful resource. However, my students are 80% African American and it wouldn’t be right to show them only European faces.

    I wonder, do you have pictures of people from diverse ethnicities showing these expressions? Presumably cultural differences may be an element as well.

    Let me know. Thanks.

    1. Kensi Science of People

      Hi Kilissa! Yes, we do in Vanessa’s book Captivate! Sorry those are not on the blog. -Kensi | Science of People Team

  6. HM

    Absolutely love this info and presentation of it – great work! Would love to share it with my students with full rights/link of your authorship!


    Just discovered about the concept of micro-expressions now that I’m in the midst of the quarantine season and this is just amazing! I’ve been studying the body language of the people around me for years and seeing this actually gave me much more insight to another feature that I noticed most of the time but decided to ignore it -thinking that it was just a minor sort. Now I think I have something better to do with my spare time than just chatting up my friends in social media.

  8. Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website by accident. I bookmarked it. This article is genuinely good and I have learned lot of things from it concerning blogging. thanks.

  9. Bhaskar

    Hi can we know emotions of people by their facial expressions? Example: can we detect highly depressed people by their facial expressions?

    1. Tana

      yes, most likely . it will be hard ofcourse because depressed people try to make it seem as if they’re fine when they’re not, but im sure you could detect a fake smile.

  10. Jessica Preston

    I’m very fascinated by this field but I’m not sure why there isn’t more focus on the complex movements such as disgust?
    This article or this on there are only 2 movements:

    But if you see Wikipedias entry in regards to disgust you get this sentence:
    “The facial expression of disgust was found to be one of these facial expressions. This characteristic facial expression includes slightly narrowed brows, a curled upper lip, wrinkling of the nose and visible protrusions of the tongue, although different elicitors may produce different forms of this expression”

  11. Mike

    The Contempt micro expression is a smirk. There is a dating advice guru on you tube named Marmi who advises using the “smirk” to attract women. What do you think about that Vanessa?

  12. Lisa

    My 15 year old daughter and I just watched the first 2 episodes of Lie To Me and wow, I love this topic so much! I am going into nursing and want to pursue this now as well!

  13. KKPE

    I have been focusing on people’s micro expressions for several years now. Knowing how someone really feels about something is very helpful. What is also very helpful is practicing the projection of your own micro expressions and thus being able to manipulate others. I don’t mean this in a way that is deceitful but rather a way to reinforce what you are feeling. Being able to consciously express your own m/e can make others feel very sure about your feeling and intentions. You could say that it leaves others having a strong ‘feeling’ that you are trust worthy. Yes it could be used for ill intent but I hope most will not.
    The one thing I have learned about people that could be said is universal is that everyone lies to some degree or another. Their micro expressions give them away every time if you are able to correctly read them. Being able to correctly interpret m/e’s can often times leave you surprised, disappointed and even hurt. It is very important to make sure that what you saw in someone else is really what you saw.

  14. Lise Jamieson

    Has anyone noticed how Donald Trump exposes his bottom teeth a lot? Just wondering what this facial expression reveals.

  15. Anna Saldi

    I love that the show Lie To Me brought this sort of research into the spotlight – microexpressions are huge (pardon the pun!)
    The videos were very helpful, I’m going to watch them many times over so that I can spot these fleeting expressions on people around me. Bookmarking for many more visits!

  16. Daniel Everett Farrer

    Microexpressions are amazing! I see them all the time in my line of work. I love being able to point them out during sessions and helping people communicate more authentically.

    1. Danielle McRae

      Yes, authentic communication is the name of the game. We’re so glad you find them helpful!

      Danielle | Science of People Team

  17. Lina Martinez

    I simply can’t get enough! Since discovering the science of people I have started to pay extra attention to my facial expressions as well as others. My question is how come we flash a sad micro expression when we see something extremely cute or someone does something that makes us so happy? It’s a flash of sad followed by happy. I noticed this too when people are indulging in a guilty pleasure, I see disgust and happy formed together. “do you want to join me or some cake?” then a flash of happy and disgust formed into one. Is it common for people to blend conflicting expressions like that?

    1. Danielle McRae

      Hi Lina, excellent question! Yes, often times, we will show one expression followed by another quickly or seemingly two expressions at once. When we are extremely happy, we often cry or show sadness to release the pent up feelings. With the cake example, we’re happy (because who doesn’t love cake?) but also possibly disgusted by the food choice we’re about to make.

      Danielle | Science of People Team

    1. Danielle McRae

      Hi! In this study, the participants were shown faces of unrecognizable Fortune 500 CEOs. They were told that these individuals were CEOs and asked the participants to rate them from least profitable to most profitable. The participants DID NOT know the profitability/wealth of the faces before deciding. Thanks for reading!

      Danielle | Science of People Team

  18. garima kaushal

    hi guys..
    I just finished watching the season lie to me and it really grabbed my interest..
    would love to learn more about this..
    Could anyone help me in guiding which book should i start this with… I was going through all the books by Dr.paul Ekman, just not sure which one should be the first..

  19. Linn

    There is always expression shown, the thing is that it flashes by so fast that we
    miss it. The above examples are exaggerated ( I believe so that we get
    it). When we see emotion this clearly, is usually from a child, or young person who hasn’t learned to hide it or a person who wants us to know exactly how they feel. With a more sophisticated individual, those MICRO expressions are very hard to see. That’s why the star in “Lie to Me” prefers to LISTEN and not interact too much with the person he’s reading, that way the concentration is at a maximum in order to SEE the expression. When we are talking and worrying about getting on the person’s good side, having them feel we care, etc., our concentration is compromised and we’ll miss some if not all the clues. If the conversation is long we may be able to sense or feel more that we see what the other person is feeling.

    1. Danielle McRae

      Hi David, thank you for your comment. Reading facial expressions and body language definitely takes time and practice! Lie to Me is a great show to practice on. Keep it up! -Danielle and the Science of People Team

  20. Hi back April I was told I have aspbergers and ocd and other things I’m learning body language and some times the way I do things it routine and my wife gets bad at me I don’t blame her I’m watching lie to me and the finder to help I’m seeing doctors to help me

  21. Danielle McRae

    Hi Sherlock, the videos are meant to be exaggerated to give you a longer look at the expression. This will help to see it faster in real life! -Danielle and the Science of People Team

  22. Nivi

    Watching Elliot Rodger recording his manifesto was really scary because I couldn´t detect any microexpression on his face. Couldn´t be a lack of microexpression in someones face be an alert signal that something is wrong?

    1. Anonym

      Probably a psycho.
      Psychos don’t usually show what others would consider the “correct” expression on certain situations

    2. Brad

      Not necessarily. Micro expressions only happen about 20% of the time. But if a person should be feeling a feeling and they are not showing it then yes that is a hotspot. Like Susan Smith who showed no sadness when speaking about her missing children. Or if someone is acting angry but you see no signs of rage in the face or gestures. So sometimes a lack of an emotion is a giveaway but you must consider the context. The thing people mistake about body language reading is that you can tell someone’s lying by a micro or subtle expression. Most cases you can’t be sure until you ask questions. All a micro tells you is what emotion is felt. It doesn’t tell you why. Never assume you know the why.

      1. Linn

        20% of the time? Where did you get that? Lots was missing from Susan Smith’s face and tone of voice, but there were lots showing as well. Lack of concern, smirk (getting away with a lie), and I can’t remember what else, but the micro expressions were there. Crazy people may be the only ones not being able to feel something that resembles caring, love, etc., and therefore show it (?). But if a person feels anything, it will show even if we miss it. Even spychopaths show micro expressions. Remember, these are not emotions we consciously control. They are involuntary and betray us constantly. We have to train ourselves to control them and then hide them. This is not easy to do and that’s why people like Vanessa offer to help.

      2. Brad

        I am well aware of how micro expressions work. I got the 20% figure from Dr. Ekman’s research papers. He said in his studies of test subjects that they only occurred 20% of the time so that makes them even more difficult to spot in addition to their brevity when they do occur. I wasn’t saying that Susan Smith never showed any expressions. I was simply using her as an example of a missing felt emotion where one should have been present, i.e. sadness. She may have showed duping delight I don’t really remember. Sorry for the confusion.

        But as for your statement that if a person feels anything it will show even if we miss it, I would encourage you to read Dr. Ekman’s book Telling Lies. I believe he talks about that subject and explains that it doesn’t always show. He even video taped his subjects and played them back in slow motion. But when it does show it can be so quick as to miss it.

    1. Missed It

      It mentions “Lie to me” at the beginning of the article. It says Dr. Enkman’s research was the premise behind the show…

    2. Janco Kruger

      I’m now at season 3 episode 9 and I love it. That’s what motivated me to do research on micro expressions and body language.

  23. Jeremy Kesby

    As usual, Vanessa, loads of value. I thought you might be amused by this recent image of Conrad Murray I posted on twitter (bottom image). He flashed this microexpression (quite a long one) of disgust during an Australian 60 Minutes interview. Here’s the Youtube clip:

    There are SO MANY deceptive verbal and non-verbal indicators in this interview, it’s hard to know where to start!

    1. grant thompson

      I have just started dabbing my feet in the water, so I might be wrong… but did anyone notice this? judging by what he was saying during this… it almost seems like… ok so please if im wrong let me know… so I think he is showing anger… eyebrows are in and his lips are pressed.. the only thing I think is weird is no forehead activity… so I might be wrong… any thoughts?

    2. ashley

      I am here too because of my interest in the show “Lie to Me”. I have been using the detectors with my husband, needless to say he doesn’t like it when he’s in the wrong. haha

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