May 6, 2008
I. Facial Expressions: Universal Expressions of Emotions
A. Paul Ekman: facial expression should be universal among humans.
It should be good for our survival to be able to read emotion from faces.
B. He took pictures of people expressing different emotions in a wide
cross-cultural collection. He traveled all over the world and presents
these faces to different cultures, races, economic situations. He looked
for commonalities between cultures and emotions. Not only commonalities
between the facial expressions, but also the interpretations of the expressions.
The answer was YES. There are universal commonalities between expression
C. The universals were joy, fear, anger, sadness, surprise and disgust.
These six emotions are both shown on the face consistently and that emotion
is interpreted by others consistently.
D. Any of these emotions are connected to fitness and reproductive
success in evolution. WHY? If you look at things like joy, they are feeling
great happiness. The reason you are joyful is because something that is
good for your survival (an event) and reproduction has happened. I.e. killed
an antelope or found berries or delivered a baby. If you witness someone
else experiencing this, there is a great need to get close to them. Getting
close may cause this good fortune to spill over onto you.
-FEAR, DISGUST, SADNESS. Someone has experienced something that may
be detrimental to survival and this is bad. If you can read this, it provides
information about what to avoid. You can use this information to your adaptive
*These expressions provide information about what is going on in the
environment and others can use it for their benefit.
E. This is beneficial if it is transferred to kin, but you may
not want to
communicate these things to enemies. You may want to be deceptive (or withhold)
things from others. We want to LIE.
-Cues that show deceptive emotion
F. LYING FACES: Can we identify when a face is lying?
A. Videoed a person when they were being honest and then again
when they were being dishonest. He looked for commonalities between people
across cultures. He did a tremendous amount of work across many different
types of cultures and people.
-He found (2001) a book called “Telling Lies”. What he found
is that when people lie, they have MICROEXPRESSION: brief, fleeting facial
expression of the opposite emotion to what the person is trying to convey
to the individual. Ex. If they are trying to convey happiness, a brief
moment before, they will exhibit an expression of contempt or anger. It
may not even be noticeable.
-When a person is lying, they have to get control of all their
processing. It is a conscious, control process. These control processes
happen more slowly than the automatic processes (which are the “REAL” feelings).
The automatic processes run off faster so the person has to gain control.
*The face will “give away” the lie, but NOT always.
-About 90% of deceivers produce reliable micro expression. 30%
of truth-tellers also produce micro expressions. There are about 10% of
liars that are really good! You can’t rely on micro expression entirely,
it isn’t perfect.
B. Law enforcement is most concerned with lying faces and most
interested in this type of research. Ekman developed the (METT) which is
a laptop computer tool that is used to help improve skills in picking up
micro expressions. Also have (SETT) which helps with subtle expressions.
When people are trained in this, they get better at picking up these micro
C. EKMAN’s OTHER CUES: since micro expression isn’t perfect.
-Depersonalization of speech: Person starts talking more in
the 3rd person instead of the 1st person. “That individual” instead of
using the person’s name. Ex. When Clinton said he did not sleep with
-Departure from typical communication style: Watch and determine
the person’s base line of normal speech. Once this is determined, watch
for deviations from the norm.
*ADVICE FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM EKMAN: He doesn’t like the “Good cop,
Bad cop depicted in the movies. He says ALWAYS play the Good cop. He says
you want to get to know them and learn their normal basic communication
style is. In order to do this you need to “be their pal” for a little while,
then look for deviations.
D. ADOLF EICHMANN: Murdered 6 million people. Nazi … Holocaust.
- He was very smart and a very good liar! Abner Les was a prosecutor
of Adolf Eichmann and was having a hard time with Adolf. However,
he started picking up on cues. Eichmann always preceded a lie with “NO,
NO, NEVER, NEVER!” He was able to pick up on this departure from the norm
and learn when Eichmann way lying.
II. HAPPINESS: AN ELUSIVE EMOTION
A. Why humans aren’t designed to be happy.
1. Most people say they are generally not happy. They have moments
2. Evolution doesn’t design people to be happy, they are designed to
survive and reproduce. Happiness is not beneficial or adaptive. If you
are happy, you are less motivated. Usually some sense of anxiety, or a
sense of missing something that gets creatures moving. Ex. Anger and dissatisfaction
B. THREE FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THIS BAD DESIGN OF “UNHAPPINESS”
1. HEDONIC TREADMILL: We quickly adapt to new circumstances requiring
ever greater “thrills” to achieve contentment (the more you have, the more
a. Most creatures are far more restricted than humans. Humans are EVERYWHERE!
b. KIND of social comparisons we tend to make. Tendency is to make
UPWARD rather than DOWNWARD social comparisons. When you make downward
social comparisons, your tendency is to compare yourself to others that
are lower than you are in status, economics, etc. These people are in greater
need. This makes you feel pretty good about yourself. HOWEVER, our general
bias is not to make DOWNWARD comparisons, but UPWARD ones. These people
are higher in economics or status. These people are better than us and
make us feel worse about ourselves.
*Were our ancestors ones that made DOWNWARD OR UPWARD comparisons?
UPWARD…these motivated the people.
2. ASYMMETRY OF AFFECTIVE EXPERIENCE: The
extent to which positive events make you feel happy or Negative things
make you feel bad.
1. Bad things make you feel worse than Good things make you feel
good. Ex. Losing 50.00 makes you feel worse than
finding 50.00 makes you feel good.
* Again, which is more motivating? The bad push you to survive and
reproduce! With evolutionary standpoints, you are always looking to be
better and have more.
2. HAPPINESS: Does money buy happiness?
a. Money can buy happiness to a certain degree, but not always.
There should be enough money to establish health and security, but past
that it has no effect. When someone moves from poverty and suffering to
a position of better well-being etc. it does affect happiness.
b. Of greater importance: stability and depth of social relationships
– marriage, family, community. *Most of us have already passed the above
threshold and are now dealing with stability and depth of relationships.
c. Do the people in richer countries claim to be happier? There
is a general pattern. People do claim to be happier in the richer countries.
Subjective Well-being index proves this. There are some exceptions. The
people in Argentina (a relatively poor country) tend to be happier than
those in Japan (a more wealthy country).
d. Increase in individual wealth in the U.S. from 1956 to 1998
shows that the average person increased in personal wealth over this time
period. Material stuff today is far greater than 30 years ago. If wealth
increased happiness, then the two graphs should go up together. However,
they do not. Even with the increase in material things, people are not
3. CHARACTERISTICS OF TRULY HAPPY PEOPLE
a. Good long enduring relationships (spouses): More married
people are happy than single people.
-You can look at the opposite of happy which is depression and
people who have been divorced twice, cohabit, divorced once, never married
and married. Here you find again that those that are happy are less depressed.
The others are more depressed.
b. Those that are involved in a religious community are happier
than those that are not. It is also shown that the more involved they are,
the happier they are. It gives you a rich social support network. These
social relationships contribute to people and their happiness.
*Scientific evidence has not shown anything more than ECCLES. 4: 7-10
in the bible.