Learn Micro Expressions with Prf. Stuart

D9D9A1732320AD53BD7CC6FF00F703CFOn March 29, 2017 from 19:00-20:30, there was a psychological session about micro expression by Professor Stuart in GEH D401. What’s micro expression you ask? Micro expression are brief involuntary facial expressions that appear according to emotions being experienced. They are unconscious movements and cannot be controlled. There are 44 muscles in our face and humans can contort their face in over 7,000 ways.

The session started about fake smiles. A professor from the audience volunteered to show everyone what a fake smile was. Professor Stuart explained fake smiles were more forced and over exaggerated. The person isn’t happy and their eyes will show ‘crows feet,’ wrinkles at the end of their eyes.

As the session continued, Professor Stuart informed the audience about the seven universal facial expressions. Each slide she showed had an example of the universal facial expressions. The first slide showed of a woman scrunched up, biting her teeth. That slide represented ‘Fear.’ Next showed disgust, where a man would grimace if there is a bad odor nearby. The other universal facial expressions were happy (an image of the emoticon on a ball), surprise (a baby with its mouth wide open), sad (a lonely girl looking down), contempt (a man who looks at another in disrespect), and anger (an image of a man yelling). Professor Stuart showed a video about President Trump and an official from Germany as an example of contempt. The audience can see Trump had no interest of being in the room with the woman, nor willing to shake her hand for the camera. A student voluntarily showed the room an expression of anger.

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Towards the end of the session, Professor Stuart talked about liars. A video of Bill Clinton and the scandal of cheating on Hilary Clinton was shown as an example of lying.

Some clues to know when someone is lying are:

  • Verbal dodging
  • Formal speech- “I do not” “I will not” “I can not”
  • Looking in your eyes too much
  • Their voice gets lower
  • Body/ feet is pointed away from person spoken to
  • Slip ups- the person gives a positive statement but the body language states something different
  • Self soothing-the liar knows they lied but performs an action to calm themselves

By the end of the session, the audience had more knowledge when someone may be lying to them. Although, that doesn’t mean to shout out “You’re lying!” to one of your friends if one of the clues match.


Written by Tiffany Marie Fu