Micromomentary Facial Expressions


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This is an excerpt I took from my presentation on Micromomentary facial expressions, which I delivered in my nonverbal communication course this year.

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Micromomentary Facial Expressions

  1. 1. Micromomentary Facial Expressions By William K. Dow and Nate Stein
  2. 2. Defining MMFE <ul><li>Best described as involuntary facial expressions that occur at the micro-level. They can occur as fast 1/25 of a second. </li></ul><ul><li>Generally occur when one is trying to repress their emotion in a situation of either intensity or when there is something to be lost or gained. </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike many other facial expressions, micromomentary facial expressions are not easy to fake or conceal. There are few people who have this ability </li></ul>
  3. 3. Emotion <ul><li>When considering MMFE, an emotion is the construct for explaining how an organism reacts to significant events, which makes emotion the central organizing mechanism of response </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional response systems: Positive and negative activation. </li></ul><ul><li>Seven Universal Emotions fear, anger, sadness, contempt, happiness, surprise, and disgust </li></ul>
  4. 4. History <ul><li>Charles Darwin first wrote about the changes in human facial expression as a reflection of the individuals current emotional state. </li></ul><ul><li>He also documented that these changes are to be a means of communicating emotional information. </li></ul>
  5. 5. William Condon <ul><li>Became famous for first exploring the idea of microexpressions, without coining the term, through his study of interaction among people, occurring at the fraction of a second level. </li></ul><ul><li>What is most notable about his research is the precision by which this research is conducted. He was made famous for studying a segment of a film that was only four and half seconds long. Condon continued to study and observe this segment of discourse frame by frame, each one being 1/25 th of a second long. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Haggard and Isaacs <ul><li>In 1966, this duo officially discovered the term microexpressions. </li></ul><ul><li>Their research included watching motion picture films about psychotherapeutic analysis in order to study the nonverbal interaction between patient and therapist. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Paul Ekman <ul><li>Over the years, the study of MMFE’s has been improved upon, however the research of Ekman is considered to be the most pioneering of all. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Collaborating with researchers David Matsumoto and Mark Frank, Ekman helped invent the Microexpression Training Tool. The goal of the module, to improve one’s ability to read our everyday micromomentary facial expressions. </li></ul>
  9. 9. John Gottman <ul><li>Dr. Gottman is also a psychologist and is known for his work on marital stability and relationship analysis through scientific and direct observations. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Today Micromomentary facial expressions and other forms of nonverbal behavior, found in the face, are available for study in books, training modules, websites, and and training seminars. It is said by Dr. Ekman that anyone has the ability to detect and derive meaning from these microexpressions if they are trained in the proper manner. </li></ul>