A fascinating article titled Lie Detection (by Mark Williams for MIT’s Technology Review) sheds light on the science of micro-expressions. You know sometimes when people tell you something and you’re able to figure out that they’re not telling the truth–you’re probably reading micro-expressions. An excerpt:
In the late 1960s, Paul Ekman–then a young psychology professor at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and just commencing his life’s work–filled a San Francisco Victorian with a library of films showing 40 psychiatric patients’ faces as they were interviewed. Ekman, who is now a leading figure in his profession, wanted to know whether he could isolate facial expressions to help diagnose mental disorders. A woman named Mary, who had attempted suicide three times before, smiled and spoke cheerily on her tape. As it happened, she was angling for a weekend pass–so that she could go home and kill herself.