Select Page

Blog #4 Identify and describe the three ways emotional facial expressions can be intentionally manipulated according to Ekman & Friesen What does Darwin’s inhibition hypothesis state? According to Ekman, what is a microexpression and when does it occur? How do these two concepts seem related?What did the authors conclude about emotional leakage in the face?What did the authors conclude about inconsistent emotional displays during emotion falsification – are they microexpression and what does this conclusion tell us about the future of lie detection?———-see the attachment for the reading

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The Three Ways Emotional Facial Expressions
Just from $10/Page
Order Essay

Reading between the Lies: Identifying Concealed and Falsified Emotions in Universal Facial
Author(s): Stephen Porter and Leanne ten Brinke
Source: Psychological Science, Vol. 19, No. 5 (May, 2008), pp. 508-514
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc. on behalf of the Association for Psychological Science
Stable URL:
Accessed: 28-09-2017 21:21 UTC
JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range
of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new
forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact [email protected].
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at

Terms and Conditions of Use

Sage Publications, Inc., Association for Psychological Science are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and
extend access to Psychological Science
This content downloaded from on Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:21:07 UTC All use subject to
Research Article
Reading Between the Lies
Identifying Concealed and Falsified Emotions in Universal
Facial Expressions Stephen Porter and Leanne ten Brinke Dalhousie University
ABSTRACT – The widespread supposition that aspecetxsproefssions are more difficult to interpret. Complicating their facial
communication are uncontrollable and can betervaayluation has been the evolutionary development of interper- deceiver9s true
emotion has received little empiricsaolnaatl-deception. Modern humans are highly skilled deceivers; tention. We examined the
presence of inconsistentoebmseor-vers tend to perform at or slightly above chance in judging tional expressions and
^microexpressions” (1/25-1/5wohfetaher another person is lying (e.g., Bond & DePaulo, 2006;
ticipants viewed disgusting, sad, frightening, happy, anOdne strategy used to facilitate deception is to alter or inhibit neutral images,
responding to each with a genuine or dthe-e facial expression that normally accompanies a particular ceptive (simulated, neutralized,
or masked) expresesmioont.ion. There are three major ways in which emotional facial Each 1/30-s frame (104, 550 frames in 697
expressionse)xwparsessions are intentionally manipulated (Ekman & Friesen, analyzed for the presence and duration of
universa1l9e7x5)-: An expression is simulated when it is not accompanied pressions, microexpressions, and blink rate.
Relativbeytaony genuine emotion, masked when the expression corre-
moreinconsistentexpressionsandanelevatedblinkthratec;orrespondstoadifferentemotion,orneutralizedwhenthe neutralized emotions
showed a decreased blink rate.eNxperge-ssion of a true emotion is inhibited while the face remains ative emotions were more
difficult to falsify than hapnpeui-tral. It is commonly assumed that attention to certain aspects ness. Although untrained observers performed
only sligohftflyacial expressions can reveal these forms of duplicity. The above chance at detecting deception, inconsistent
emotSiuopnraelme Court of Canada has concluded that the assessment of leakage occurred in 100% of participants at least once
acnreddibility is “common sense” as long as the judge or jury has a lasted longer than the current definition of a microex cpleraers-view
of the witness’s face (R. v. B. (K.G.), 1993; R. v. swn suggests. Microexpressions were exhibited by 21.9M5%arquard, 1993). In addition, as
a result of terrorist activity, of participants in 2% of all expressions, and in the uppaierline security officials in the United States
implemented a or lower face only.
program to train security staff to identify potential threats in part by reading concealed emotions in the faces of passengers. The U.S.
transportation agency has been training hundreds of “beThe face is a dynamic canvas on which people communicate
havior detection” officers and plans to deploy them in major
their emotional states and from which they infer the emotional
American airports by 2008 (Lipton, 2006).
states of others. Observers quickly “read” the faces of strangers
This massive training program is based largely on the work
to make evaluations of their state (emotions, intentions) and trait
and input of Paul Ekman (T. Frank, 2007), who has argued that
characteristics (e.g., Willis & Todorov, 2006). Confronted with a
aspects of facial communication are uncontrollable and can
stranger’s face displaying lowered brows, flared nostrils, and
betray a deceiver’s true emotion to the trained observer (see
“flashing eyes” (Darwin, 1872), one readily recognizes anger
Ekman, 2006). This idea has its origin in the work of Guillaume
and might wisely escape the situation. Often, however, facial
Duchenne, who began to document facial actions associated
with genuine and false smiles in the 1800s (Duchenne, 1862/
1990). In the popular view, a happiness expression is one in Address correspondence to Stephen Porter, Department of Psycholwhich the zygomatic major muscle is contracted, pulling the ogy, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4J1, Canada,
e-mail: [email protected]. corners of the mouth upward into a smile. However, Duchenne 508 Copyright © 2008 Association for
Psychological Science Volume 19 – Number 5
This content downloaded from on Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:21:07 UTC All use subject to
noted that genuine expressions of happiness also involve the activation of the orbicularis oculi, the muscle that surrounds the eye and pulls the
cheek up while lowering the brow. Darwin (1872) hypothesized that certain specific facial actions that cannot be created voluntarily may
nonetheless be involuntarily expressed in the presence of a genuine emotion. He noted:
A man when moderately angry, or even when enraged, may com- mand the movements of his body, but . . . those muscles of the face which are least obedient to the
will, will sometimes alone betray a slight and passing emotion, (p. 79).
Darwin’s inhibition hypothesis has never been tested empirically (Ekman, 2003). Related to Darwin’s observation is Ekman’s proposal
that when an emotion is concealed, the true emotion may be manifest as a microexpression, a fleeting but complete facial expression
discordant with the expressed emotion and usually suppressed within 1/5 to 1/25 of a second, so that it is difficult to detect with the
naked eye (e.g., Ekman, 1992, 2006).
Although the concept of microexpressions has received enormous attention in the scientific community (e.g., see Duen- wald, 2005;
Schubert, 2006) and news media (e.g., Adelson, 2004; Ekman, 2006; Henig, 2006), it has been subjected to surprisingly little
empirical research. To our knowledge, no published empirical research has established the validity of microexpressions, let alone their
frequency during falsification of emotion. Although Ekman has argued that training can help people identify microexpressions and
therefore become better detectors of deception (see Schubert, 2006), his conclusion appears to be based on research in which
participants were exposed to brief glimpses of still facial expressions and were asked to identify the brief flash of emotion. For example,
in a study by M.G. Frank and Ekman (1997), people’s ability to judge whether targets were lying was positively related to their performance on a separate task in which they evaluated expressed emotion in static faces viewed for l/25th of a second. However, the
presence of microexpressions in the videotaped targets in the deception-detection task was apparently unexamined. Thus, although the ability to
recognize emotion and the ability to de- tect deception may be related, these findings cannot be taken as evidence for the validity of
microexpressions as indicators of false emotions. Further, studies of possible differences among genuine, simulated, masked, and
neutralized expressions have rarely examined any basic emotions other than happiness (Ek- man, Davidson, & Friesen, 1990).
We conducted the first comprehensive investigation of genu- ine and falsified facial expressions of emotion. Videotaped displays of
emotional expression were analyzed on a frame-by- frame basis for the presence and duration of the universal emotional expressions.
Emotional expressions inconsistent with the intended emotional display, microexpressions, and blink rate were coded to determine
whether genuine and falsified emotional expressions could be differentiated reliably.
Stephen Porter and Leanne ten Brinke
This content downloaded from on Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:21:07 UTC All use subject to
Undergraduate students (N = 41) participated in return for
credit points added to marks in psychology courses. Participants
were predominantly female (35 females, 6 males) and had a
mean age of 21.51 years (SD = 4.79). Six additional naive
volunteers judged the veracity of the facial expressions in real time.
Apparatus and Stimuli
The testing room was arranged with the participant seated in a chair directly in front of a laptop computer on which a timed
photographic slide show was presented. A full-frontal, close-up view of the participant’s face was recorded by a Sony miniDV video
camera (recording speed = 30 frames/s) situated on a tripod directly behind the computer’s screen. Video was ana- lyzed frame by frame
using iMovie. A naive observer who sat behind the screen could not see the slide show, but maintained an unobstructed view of the
participant’s face to assess the ve- racity of each expression.
While being videotaped, each participant viewed a timed slide show of emotional photographic images from the Interna- tional Affective
Picture System (IAPS; Lang, Bradley, & Cuth- bert, 1999; Lang, Greenwald, Bradley, & Hamm, 1993) and responded to each image with a
genuine or deceptive emotional expression. The IAPS is a standardized database of more than 700 emotionally evocative, color
photographs and has been well normed. Photographs were selected on the basis of ratings of emotional valence and arousal provided in
the IAPS manual (Lang et al., 1999). Each selected image fell into one of three categories: highly positive and arousing, highly negative
and arousing, or neither pleasant nor unpleasant and nonarousing (i.e., neutral). The normative emotional categories provided by Mikels
et al. (2005) for the IAPS images identified the particular emotion elicited by each image (Mikels et al., 2005). The images were organized
into sets (see the next paragraph). In all sets, the emotional images were significantly more emotional and arousing than the
neutral images, and all negative images dif- fered from all positive images in ratings of emotional valence (all ps < .05), but not arousal. The timed slide show contained a total of 17 images, organized into five sets defined by the expressions participants were in- structed to exhibit (see Procedure). The four emotional sets (express disgust, happiness, sadness, and fear) contained 3 images each. For example, in the happiness set, participants viewed 1 neutral, 1 happy, and 1 sad image. The fifth set in- cluded 1 neutral (truck), 1 disgusting (severed hand), 1 sad (incubated baby in distress), 1 happy (puppies playing), and 1 fearful (open-mouthed rabid dog) image, which participants viewed while retaining a neutral facial expression. Each image appeared for 5 s, followed by a 5-s break before the next image appeared. The slide show also contained 2-min breaks between sets of pictures. Each participant viewed 1 of 10 slide shows that counterbalanced the order of emotional sets, as well as the order of images within each set.1 Procedure versal emotions; Ekman & Friesen, 1976) and by practice with the Facial Action Coding System (Ekman, Friesen, & Hagar, 1976/2002). In addition, the coders reviewed recent studies investigating facial actions involved in the universal emotional expressions (Kohler et al., 2004; Suzuki & Naitoh, 2003). So we could assess the coders' knowledge level after training, they viewed a slide show of 50 faces from the Pictures of Facial Deceptive Facial Expressions Prior to presentation of the stimuli, participants were asked to Affect database and classified the emotion expressed in each. display a convincing emotional expression in response to each Additionally, they viewed 48 videos in a microexpression task image and were given explicit instructions regarding the emosimilar to that used by M.G. Frank and Ekman (1997). Each of tion they were to express as each image was presented. For these videos included a 1/25-s glimpse of one still picture of example, participants were instructed to respond to each image facial affect embedded within another, different expression, and in the happiness set with a convincing display of happiness. coders were asked to classify the emotion in the microexpression Thus, in the case of the neutral photo, their happiness expresimage. The two coders obtained accuracy rates of 96% and 92% sion was simulated; in the case of the happy photo, their exon the Pictures of Facial Affect task, and 96% and 94% on the pression was genuine; and in the case of the sad image, their microexpression-identification task. Finally, they practiced expression was masked. As a participant exhibited his or her frame-by-frame video analysis of emotional facial expressions
emotional expressions, an observer judged the veracity of each.
by coding the video of a sample participant until they were able
The observer was informed of the emotion the participant into attain nearly perfect reliability.
tended to express, but was blind to the image presented on the
Coders were blind to the veracity of the emotions they were
screen. Although the presence of an observer was intended
analyzing (i.e., whether participants were displaying genuine,
primarily to increase the realism of the task and the motivation of
simulated, masked, or neutralized expressions), but aware of the
the participant, it also permitted us to examine the ability of
emotions participants intended to portray.
naive observers to detect deception in emotional facial expres- sions.
Coding Training and Procedure Coding Reliability
Two extensively trained coders coded each frame (duratSionth=at we could assess interrater reliability, both coders l/30th of a second)
of the 5-s videotaped clips (150 framesa/ncalilpyzed the complete videos of 4 participants (68 expresx 17 clips/participant x 41 participants, for a total of 10si4o,5n5s0, or 10,200 frames). Interrater reliability was at least coded frames) for
the presence and duration of universal “emgooo-d” (as defined, e.g., by Cicchetti & Sparrow, 1981, and tional expressions in the upper
and lower2 facial regions. CFoledinssg, 1981) on all indices. The raters averaged 93.3% (SD = required classifying the emotion exhibited
in each facial r1eg6i.o6n1) agreement on the number of inconsistent frames per in each frame and recording the time at which these
expresxspiornesssion (i.e., the number of frames in which they coded an began and ended (inconsistent emotions lasting from l/25elm/5otthion other than the one the participant intended to express). of a second were recorded as microexpressions). Also,
thDeisfarger-eement in coding a frame as inconsistent was infrequent, quency of blinks was recorded for the duration of each
exopcrceusr-ring for an average of 10.71 (SD = 24.63) frames for the sion. The coders were extensively trained in facial musculautpuprer,
face and 9.30 (SD = 25.38) frames for the lower face, out facial action units associated with the universal emotionosf, a1n5d0 frames per
expression (i.e., the coders agreed on an av- the identification of universal emotional expressions. To fearcialgi-e of 139.29 and 140.7
frames for the upper and lower face, tate training, we created a detailed reference guide thraetsipne-ctively). The coders demonstrated
good reliability in cluded numerous examples of each emotion and thecomdaining the presence of inconsistent emotions and the duration
of muscle movements involved. Training with this reference tghueiddeisplays, r(134) = .71,p < .001, and r(134) = .70,/) < .001, was complemented by detailed study of the Pictures of rFeascpiaelctively. Furtherm ore, their m ean ratings did not differ Affect (a set of photographs of expressions depicting thseigunif-icantly, *(135) = 1.29,/> > . 05, and *(135) = 1.44,p >.O5,
lrThe order in which stimuli were presented was analyzed as a between- subjects variable and had no impact on any dependent measure. Thus, coun-
Presence and Duration of Inconsistent Emotional ^e upper facial region corresponds to the eye and forehead regions, and the
System (Ekman, Friesen, & Hager, 1976/2002); these muscles include the
First, we examined whether the emotions participants intended
terbalancing was successful, and order effects were minimal.
muscles underlying the upper-face action units in the Facial Action CoEdxinpgressions
in Genuine and Falsified Expressions
frontalis, corrugator, orbicularis oculi, and procerus. The lower facial region
to express and the veracity of the expressions were related to the corresponds to the nose, mouth, cheek, and chin areas; the muscles involved
degree of “leakage,” or emotional expressions inconsistent with 510Volume19-Number5
This content downloaded from on Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:21:07 UTC All use subject to
include the risorius, orbicularis oris, zygomatic major, and mentalis.
Similarly, in the lower face, inconsistent expressions were shorter in happy expressions (M = 0.74, SD = 0.48) than in sad (M = 0.92, SD
= 0.66), fearful (M = 2.15, SD = 1.56), and disgusted (M = 1.40, SD = 1.17) expressions (ps < .001). Al- though the main effect of veracity was not significant, F(4, 37) = 1.5,/) > .05, it is important to note that the inconsistent displays of emotion in genuine (upper face: M = 1.56,
SD = 1.39; lower face: M = 1.42, SD = 1.39), simulated (upper face: M = 1.54, SD = 1.29; lower face: M = 1.58, SD = 1.22), and
masked (upper face: M = 1.40, SD = 1.23; lower face: M = 1.47, SD = 1.28) displays were much longer than expected; such cues to
3Means represent the length (in seconds) of inconsistent emotional expres- sions for only those expressions in which inconsistencies actually occurred. In other words, expressions
that did not contain any inconsistent emotion (i.e., 0 s inconsistent) were excluded from the calculation of means to produce a more accurate illustration of the length of inconsistent
emotional expressions when they did occur.
Microexpressions as No complete microex volving both the upp neously (as described
in any of the 697 anal exhibited 14 partial m the lower facial region in the following emot simulated,4during pression.The5micro
neutralized emotional emotion.Thus,partia do tend to be subtle m and may be an indicat However, they occur
Stephen Porter and Leanne ten Brinke
pressions. Volume19-Number5511
This content downloaded from on Thu, 28 Sep 2017 21:21:07 UTC All use subject to
Percentage of Expressions in Which Inconsistent Emotional Expressions Occurred
Expression category Upper face Lower face Intended emotion
Happiness 7.30 8.13 Sadness 30.9 38.2
Fear 49.6 47.2 Disgust 32.5 42.3
the intended display. Although inconsistencies for genuine, simulated, and masked expressions were defined as any emotion other than
what was intended, the definition of inconsistency for neutralized expressions was any exhibited emotion. Given the difference …
Purchase answer to see full

Order your essay today and save 10% with the discount code ESSAYHSELP