Microexpressions According To Paul Ekman's Study

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Radiolab did a segment on how our facial expressions can be hints to our inner emotions by interviewing Paul Ekman, a renowned psychologist who is a pioneer in the study of emotions. The radio segment begins with a psychologist by the name of Gordon Burghardt. Burghardt studies snakes particularly the hognose snake. Gordon studies them by putting a chicken puppet inside the cage and begins to attack the snake with this puppet. The snake reacts by flipping over on its back, starts to bleed from the mouth, defecates, and then the snake stops breathing. All of this is a show and when the chicken puppet is taken away from the cage the snake starts to breathe and move about. The second part of the segment focuses on microexpression and the psychologist Paul Ekman. About 30 years ago, Paul Ekman studied his own face and found that there are 50 muscles that control the movements of the face. He wanted to figure how many ways the muscles could combine to make facial expressions. He found that the human face can make 3,000 facial expressions. For example, anger has an anger reliable muscles. With …show more content…
What struck me as interesting was how microexpressions can detect lying in an individual. A microexpression lasts no longer than a second and within this time a trained professional can notice if one is not being truthful. I also found it interesting how the snake acted dead. The snake had internal instincts to protect itself from the chicken puppet. The snake acted dead and then would wake up when when the psychologists would remove the puppet. The snake would lie in order to protect itself from harm. I also found it rather interesting when Paul Ekman stated that there are 3,000 facial expressions. When I think of facial expressions, I think of happy, sad, or angry. I would have never thought more than that existed. Overall, I found this radio segment very interesting and it allowed me to understand the art of lying and

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