Emotions Revealed Book Summary By Paul Ekman

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Emotions Revealed (2003) by Paul Ekman is an in-depth look at the science of emotions and its significance for everyday life.

A world-renowned psychologist, Ekman examines why we feel the way we do, how emotions are communicated through facial expressions and body language, and how to detect lies or deceit from within facial expressions.

It also provides a brief overview of various emotion-related disorders such as depression and anxiety.

With detailed explanations and helpful examples, this book is sure to help anyone looking to understand their own emotions better as well as those of others.

Emotions Revealed Book

Book Name: Emotions Revealed (Recognizing Faces and Feelings to Improve Communication and Emotional Life)

Author(s): Paul Ekman

Rating: 3.9/5

Reading Time: 16 Minutes

Categories: Psychology

Author Bio

Paul Ekman is one of the world's leading experts on emotions, as well as facial expression to show emotion.

He has had over 50 years of experience in both teaching and researching human emotions, and he is a consulting psychologist for multiple police departments and security offices.

His studies have even been used to bring animated characters to life in the popular film studio Pixar!

In his book "Emotions Revealed", Dr.

Ekman takes readers into his mind and models the intricacies of facial expressions, how people interpret emotions from facial expressions and how these interpretations can affect our relationships with others.

He provides detailed examples from real-life cases as well as advice on how to effectively learn more about emotions in our own lives.

Unlock The Language Of Facial Expressions: How To Read Eyebrows, Jaws, And Eyes

Facial Expressions

Are you trying to understand how to better read people’s emotions? Then the Emotions Revealed book is for you!

You’ll learn the language of non-verbal communication and gain fluency in this unspoken form of communication.

This is a language that all humans were once fluent in before verbal communication – our bodies and faces were the only means of expressing ourselves.

By deciphering facial expressions, you can understand even the most nuanced emotions.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to enable your emotion detector!

You’ll learn how different facial features such as eyebrows and jaws signal various emotions, why looking at the jaw can help prevent a fight, how two distinct feelings can be detected in the eyes, and much more!

With this powerful insight gained through Emotions Revealed Book, you won’t just have an advantage in understanding people but also empathy towards them.

The Hand-Me-Down Fear: How Our Ancestors’ Experiences Shape Our Reactions Today

Our emotions, especially fear-based ones, are like artifacts from our ancient past.

Studies suggest that we are still attuned to the same threats that our ancestors experienced centuries ago.

In 1993, psychologist Arne Ohman tested this theory.

He paired electric shocks with images of spiders and flowers to determine whether people today have an innate fear of spiders.

He found that a single shock was enough to create a fearful reaction when exposed to just the image of the spider.

On the other hand, it took much more than one shock for subjects to react with fear when presented with the image of the flower.

Ohman then tried something else – pairing an electric shock with images of modern guns and spiders – and found once again that people reacted more quickly to seeing the spider alone than they did in response to either gun or flower.

This shows us how our emotions are not only passed down through generations but are also still attuned to the dangers faced by our ancestors long ago.

The Power Of Irrational Emotional Reactions: How Trauma From Our Past Can Influence Our Present Behaviour

Childhood trauma, if left unchecked, can lead to volatile emotions in adulthood.

This can be especially pronounced when the trauma stems from a situation that repeats ancestral patterns.

Take Tim, one of the author’s clients, for example.

As a young boy his father had a habit of teasing him in a cruel, insensitive way – something which left an impression on him and made him overly sensitive to any sort of teasing or criticism as an adult.

This type of pattern isn’t limited to childhood trauma either – it can extend further to our ancestors too.

A dean at the author’s university was calm and collected when dealing with faculty issues but when it came to traffic jam situations his reactions were intense and irrational – something that is rooted in ancestral experiences where being blocked off by an opponent could have deadly consequences.

Our ancestral patterns still remain deeply embedded in our subconscious today and can serve as warning bells against potential danger causing primal emotions that are anything but logical.

Recognizing The Emotions Of Others Through Facial Expressions: An Analysis Of A Photograph Of Bettye Shirley

Facial Expressions

At first glance, you may be able to tell when someone is feeling sad without them saying a single word.

How? By looking at the expression on their face – specifically, raised inner eyebrows, contracted cheeks and widened lips.

A reliable sign of sadness is the raising of the inner points of the eyebrows, just above the nose.

This involuntary reaction makes it easy to detect that one is feeling suppressively sad even if they are trying to hide it.

If the expression is overwhelming enough, even a vertical crease can appear between those raised eyebrows creating an even more dramatic look.

The mouth plays a key role in this showing too, with horizontal widening of lips forming a sad grimace – often widening until it’s all open as an invitation for tears and wails.

That same grimace can also cause contraction of cheeks which raise up just slightly and become more noticeable, making you appear like you’re smiling even though you’re feeling downheartedly sad inside.

The True Sign Of Anger: Thin Lips And Variations Across Cultures

When it comes to signaling displeasure or anger, a lowered brow, glaring eyes and thin lips is a universally recognized cue.

To prove this point, take for example the case of Maxine Kenny when her daughter was murdered in 1997.

She was restrained by officers while screaming insults and trying to attack the man convicted of the crime; her expression revealed the unmistakable signs of rage.

Her lowered brows, glaring eyes and thin lips were all clear hints of her emotional state at that moment.

However, it must also be noted that depending on culture and context, other signs may be present to indicate one’s emotional state.

For example, in Papua New Guinea when people display extreme anger they usually close their mouths and tighten their lips rather than resorting to open mouth shouting as is typically seen in Western cultures.

On the contrary, an open mouth denotes controlled anger which signals a willingness to talk rather than engage in physical violence.

Overall though, anger is universally conveyed through common indicators such as brows being lowered and drawn together into a scowl, unwavering eye contact with a glare and thinning of lips (which becomes apparent when someone’s lips are thinner than what is normal).

How To Differentiate Between The Emotions Of Fear And Surprise Through Body Language

The eyes are your best tell when it comes to deciphering a person’s emotional state.

When emotions like fear, surprise and more start to surface, the eyes can often reveal subtle clues that will help you determine which emotion it is.

Take the case of two men in 1978 who witnessed someone fall from a high rise; the photographer captured their expressions with raised eyelids visible.

The upper lid was raised slightly and this indicated they were most likely surprised by what had happened.

If fear had been at play, there would have been much greater tension in the lower eyelids of their eyes, making them appear bigger and almost frozen.

A prime example of this came about in a 1973 photograph taken of a roller derby skater, Charlie O’Connell, where his extreme terror caused him to have severely tense lower eyelids and an extremely elevated upper lid – creating an almost cartoonish effect around his bulging eyes.

When trying to identify hidden emotions such as fear or surprise, focus on the eyes as they can be key indicators towards understanding these emotions without any confusion.

Additionally, look for any signs of tension in the lower eyelids; if present then it is likely to be an expression of fear that one wishes not to show but cannot contain due to bodily response.

Reading Between The Smiles: How To Differentiate Real And Fake Enjoyment Through Voice And Expression

Voice And Expression

It’s often said that a person’s smile is the most recognizable and universal sign of happiness.

When you come across a beaming grin, it can signify many different emotions, from amusement and relief to gratitude or sensual pleasure.

But what about when someone is faking their smile?

English psychologists Sophie Scott and Andrew Calder discovered that people can distinguish between shades of enjoyment by focusing on the voice, which also plays an important role in identifying true emotion.

The 19th century French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne conducted experiments on patients to better understand the nuances of a genuine smile.

He found that activating the zygomatic major muscle – which forms a smile – did not create a natural looking expression.

However, when his patients responded positively to jokes or interesting subjects, there was an additional activation of the orbicularis oculi muscle around the eyes that could not be fake.

To conclude, someone’s smile and voice can indicate different kinds of happiness but not all smiles are genuine.

To be sure if a person’s smile is real or fake, pay special attention to the muscle surrounding the eye; it cannot be voluntarily contracted and thus signifies authenticity.

The Power Of Micro-Expression: How Technology Can Help Detect Lies And Avoid Tragedies

Telling lies from true statements can be a tough job, but trained eyes can detect the truth.

In one instance a psychiatrist had to determine if a suicidal patient was telling the truth when saying she felt better.

To help with this task, Natures Nutrition used micro-expressions which are barely noticeable, even to the naked eye.

By reviewing the 12-minute interview frame by frame they were able to identify moments when Mary lied in her declaration of feeling better.

The author observed that while Mary smiled after answering questions about her future plans, an anguished expression crossed her face for 1/12th of a second three times during the interview.

Thus, revealing that Mary was hiding her true intentions and lying about feeling better.

Through careful review of micro-expressions in filmed interviews it is possible to avoid tragedies such as this in the future.

This shows just how important it is for emotional detectives to use all tools available to them when necessary.

Wrap Up

Emotions Revealed is an invaluable guide to help people better understand their emotions, as well as the emotions of other people.

Key takeaways include recognizing when someone is lying or faking a smiling, creating more empathy and understanding, and most importantly, embracing our own emotions.

This book encourages us to express our feelings in all their forms, rather than brushing them aside out of fear of appearing vulnerable – we are much healthier if we understand how we are feeling.

Finally, it gives readers actionable steps for practicing this skill.

We can look in the mirror and practice producing facial expressions that represent different emotions so that we can get to know ourselves and form richer connections with others.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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