Wouldn’t it be an amazing skill to have the ability to read a
candidate’s facial expressions to determine if he/she is
lying about some aspect of his/her employment history?
Well, a researcher by the name of Paul Ekman, Ph.D. has
written a number of books on facial micro expressions. In
fact, Dr. Ekman has risen to superstar status in the law
enforcement field by training police officers and
investigators from the CIA, FBI, INTERPOL, as well as
local law enforcement to decode facial expressions.
Dr. Eckman refers to his program as the Facial Action
Coding System (FACS) and it works by observing 7 key
emotions that occur within two-fifths (2/5) of a second on
a person’s face.
The 7 emotions are anger, contempt, disgust, fear,
happiness, sadness, and surprise. The mini-bursts of
expressions typically related to these emotions are noted
*Upper eyelids slightly raised.
*Thinning of lips.
*Mouth slightly raised to one side.
*Tightening of the mouth.
*Scrunched up nose.
*Eyebrows drawn together.
*Corner of lips slightly raised.
*”Crows fee” around eyes.
*Turned down mouth.
*Pulled up chin.
*Slightly raised eyebrows.
Eckman’s partner, Cliff Lansley, in the firm, Emotional
Intelligence Academy, states that in the science of
deception, lies are linked to emotions. In fact, lies
require greater cognitive effort than the truth – in other
words, it takes more effort to make up a story and keep
the other person from seeing behind it. Lansley also
notes that liars over-control their behaviors and it is
this extra effort that gets exposed when one has the
ability to read the flicker of “emotional leakage” in
another person’s face.
It would seem that this ability to decode facial
expressions would be valuable in many situations other
than interviewing such as sales, disciplinary action, etc.
Eckman has written a number of books on this subject and
his Academy offers various training programs.