Conversation with Paul Ekman
December 10, 2005 1:42 AM   Subscribe

Face to Face: The Science of Reading Faces. Transcript(and video)of a 2004 interview with psychologist Paul Ekman, who is known for his research on facial expression and the development, with associates, of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). Includes a few facial expression photos. Part of the "Conversations with History" series at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley .
posted by hortense (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Intriguing. But I wish there were images better explaining 6 and 12.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:27 AM on December 10, 2005

Great link. I just got done reading Snow Crash for the umpteenth time and I never get tired of Stephenson's digression on the human face as an interface tool and as a means for transmitting large amounts of information very quickly. And then here comes Metafilter with a link about someone who works on facial information in the real world. Thanks hortense.
posted by longdaysjourney at 5:28 AM on December 10, 2005

Great link.

A bit of a digression: one of the wonderful things about working with preschoolers is that you can tell immediately by their faces what is going on. It often happens to me that one child will say that another child hit him and I call tell by looking at that child's face whether he did it, even if I was out of the room at the time. Oh, the beauty of innocence.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:11 AM on December 10, 2005

Btw. this post was almost about Studs! very funny entertaining conversation.
posted by hortense at 9:20 AM on December 10, 2005

From the first link: I have two chapters in this book about how we can change what we become emotional about. To a large extent, we can't. We can weaken the trigger, but we can't remove it totally, and it will reappear under the right circumstance -- when we haven't enough sleep, if we're under stress, then the things that we thought no longer get us still do.

This is cool. I'll check out his books. Thanks, hortense!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:11 PM on December 10, 2005

Gladwell mentions this guy in Blink, I think... so if you're looking for a quick overview of the theory, that's a good introduction.

I've been thinking about ordering the training cd-rom. Has anyone actually used it?
posted by ph00dz at 3:49 PM on December 10, 2005

See also.
posted by homunculus at 7:50 PM on December 10, 2005

Excellent post, thanks hortense!
posted by storybored at 8:17 PM on December 10, 2005

...and that Studs Terkel interview rocks!
posted by storybored at 8:38 PM on December 10, 2005

I work at a technical college where, among other programs, they have a Criminal Justice program.

So I'm sitting at my desk (just a few days ago) and this CJ faculty head-guy comes in with a co-faculty member and asks me a totally innocuous question. Bemused, I answer, unaware yet that he's pulling some of this FACS voudou on me.

He then explains to his co-faculty member how I looked down to the right as I recalled before answered, even detailing a bit about my personality and my general psychological makeup based on my reaction. (Intuitive-emotional, and some other stuff.)

It was all pretty much spot on.

He then whispers in my ear and tells me to answer all of the next questions with a specific, made up, false keyword.

Even while aware of what was going on it was literally impossible for me at that moment to not look down and to the left, up and to the left, or - towards the last question or two out of about 6 - just impassively straight forward.

Very creepy and cool stuff.
posted by loquacious at 4:16 AM on December 11, 2005

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