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Macro and Micro Facial Expressions
Dear participants, welcome to the 5th module of the second week.In the previous module, we had seen the significance of facial expressions and how they are beinglinked with the latest technological developments.Human facial expressions as well as their recognition by computers has become a widelystudied topic since the concept of effective computing was first introduced by Picard.Numerous methods and algorithms for automatically recognizing emotions from human faces havebeen developed and they are still being developed in diversified ways.A particular interesting aspect of the recognition of facial expressions is based on our understandingof what is known as micro expressions.Micro expressions are those facial expressions that come on our face in a very fleeting manner.They last not more than half a second up to 4 seconds and some researchers say that theduration of micro expressions is even less.For example, some say that it is between half a second to 2 seconds whereas, some criticsthink that it is even shorter than this.Macro expressions as we have a studied in our previous module or what is known as theregular expressions or the normal expressions which come on our face.These expressions match the content of what we are saying and they also match the voicemodulations.They can normally be seen and evaluated by people and therefore, they form the basisof communication.They can be in general understood by viewers and they also have what is known as a repeatablecapability.Micro expression on the other hand display an emotion which is rather concealed or anemotion which the speaker does not want to exhibit openly and therefore, they showcaserepression or oppression of feelings.At the same time we have to understand that it is rather tough for us to conceal the microexpressions.Micro expressions occur normally when there are two conflicting emotions going on in ourheart simultaneously.One may be voluntary and the other may be involuntary emotional response.These responses are contradictory.For example, we may feel angry inside, but on the face we want to show our pleasure andappreciation.So, you would find that one emotion is oppressing; the other these two emotions are contradictoryand the conscious or the macro expression would try to imitate the expressions of ourappreciation and happiness.On the other hand the micro expressions very briefly can suggest the truth of our emotionalstate because they occur in a fleeting fashion and therefore, their understanding as wellas their concealment by the onlooker as well as by the speaker is rather tough.Even though it is difficult to understand micro expressions as well as to conceal them.We find that if we are able to read them correctly, it becomes a key to understand the interactionin a proper way.We can say that our capability to understand micro expressions help us to understand thecomplex emotional world we live in and here is an interesting discussion of this idea.What to better understand how people around you feel?Micro expressions are key to understanding the complex emotional world we live in.Recent research shows that emotional intelligence has an impact on how successful people arein their careers, being able to read emotional signals is one important part of that emotionalintelligence.It allows you to better communicate with others established meaningful relationships and buildrapport.So, what are the micro expressions?They are signs of the concealed emotions that leak out when people are in high stakes situations,but are trying to control their feelings.They typically last less than half a second.Scientists have documented seven universal facial expressions of emotion that are expressedsimilarly by all people regardless of race, culture, age or gender.Research has also shown that people can be trained to identify these expressions relatively.The term micro expression as well as the idea behind them was popularized by an Americancrime drama television series with the title of "Lie to Me".It originally ran on the Fox network in January 2009.In this show we find that the protagonist Doctor Cal Lightman who has been modeled onPaul Ekman, the famous psychologist and his colleagues in what is known as the Lightmangroup take up assignments from different parties and most of these parties are the local inthe federal law enforcement agencies and they assist in investigations and normally theyare able to reach at successful conclusions and find out the reasons behind differentcrimes.Their methodology is to interpret micro expressions through facial action, coding system as wellas other aspects of body language.Lie to Me interestingly had featured a handpicked team of an imaginary effective character CalLightman and in this show we find that this team has perfected the science of solvingcrime by deciphering micro expressions.Various episodes of this TV show had popularized the idea of micro expressions in the public.The twitch blink a tic.Hence lower lids raised uppers.Most people do not even notice them.With the Doctor Cal Lightman they tell him everything he needs to know.Are you trying to cover up a crime?No.Really?He is the world's foremost authority in deception detection.The President specifically asked for you do know I can tell when you lie on the job.And with his handpicked team of experts they perfected the science of solving crimes.You are holding your breath.You are hiding something.Two blocks.I will know if you are lying, but why mister you see.Even though the studies of expressions of emotions on human face had been a part ofthe study programs of various ethnologist and behavioral scientists who had taken oftheir studies of non-verbal aspects of communication, we find that the idea of micro expressionscame into existence with the research work of two scholars EA Haggart and KS Isaacs whopublished a paper in 1966 with the title Micro Momentary Facial Expressions as Indicatorsof Ego Mechanisms in psychotherapy.They were looking at the behavior of couples who were undergoing psychological therapyand they were watching different films and they noted that there are certain behaviorswhich would flash so quickly that it was difficult to grasp them by naked eye.They stumbled upon these aspects of human behavior only when they were watching thefilms by slowing them down.They noted that certain expressions occur and go even before we become conscious ofthem and they gave them the name micro momentary facial expressions.Later on we find that Paul Ekman in his independent research also came to similar findings andobserved similar behaviors while he was studying deception.He also became conscious of these micro expressions and he coined the term.This term was incorporated in his book Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace,Politics and Marriage which was initially published in 1985.But the revised version came up in 2009 and it was in the 2009 edition that he has incorporatedhis findings about what he has termed as micro expressions.Paul Ekman's work is a path breaking work and it gives us insights into line emotionalleakages of our emotions and also to the clues to deceitful behavior.In this book Ekman has traced the deception is strategies of various international publicfigures for example Adolf Hitler and Richard Nixon and he has also looked at the deceitfulbehavior of various private individuals including certain petty criminals as well as adulterersto understand the difference in macro and micro expressions.His study describes how lies vary in form and can differ from other types of misinformation.He has also looked closely as how an individual's body language, voice, facial expressions inparticular can give away a lie and people who are sensitive to the micro expressionscan understand these lies.However, a person can still escape the detection by professionals, a person can escape detectionfor example by police officers, by judges, by various other law enforcement agents andcan also escape the mechanical lie detectors, micro expressions occur in everyone.However, as we have discussed earlier it is perhaps impossible to conceal them and theyoccur in an unconscious manner.We cannot prevent them from taking place and learning to detect this leakage is criticalto emotional intelligence as well as for understanding deception in the behavior of other peoplethis list gives us the difference between macro and micro expressions.Macro expressions are what we understand to be obvious or normal facial expressions.In comparison to that micro expressions are either often misinterpreted or missed altogether.Not everybody can make out the difference between a macro and micro expression and canlose the significance or the meaning of micro expressions.Macro expressions last for certain seconds, so that most of us can easily make out theexpression on the human face.In comparison to that micro expressions occur in a fraction of a second and therefore, thedetection is difficult.Macro expressions match the content they express the same idea through our facial expressionswhich we are trying to express with the help of our words and they also match the toneof the voice.However, micro expressions unconsciously display a concealed emotion.Understanding micro expressions is beneficial in our day to day life.If understanding body language helps us to understand the true intent of the other person;micro expressions and their understanding further hones these skills.Micro expressions are like leakages of emotions.They reflect the vaccinations of the mind in a persons emotional state and therefore,they offer as a window to their internal emotional turbulence of another person.These leakages may be reflected in one region of the face in a highly subtle manner or inthe form of a very quick expression which has been flashed across the whole face, butthey increase our emotional awareness and they help us in becoming aware of lies anddeceptions as unlike verbal quotes we find that micro expressions have certain universalities.It is interesting to note that Paul Ekman had also started his training programmes.He had developed an one hour self instructional program that trains people to observe andunderstand micro expressions; whereas it is helpful and beneficial to be able to understandmicro expressions.We also have to remember that a single expression on our face whether it is micro or macro islike a word in a particular context.A word can have different meanings and in order to place the meaning of a word properlywe also have to understand the context completely and therefore, we should not over read asfar as micro expressions or other macro facial expressions are concerned.Micro expressions are further classified in various ways.Largely we can say that they exist in three groups; simulated, neutralized and maskedexpressions.Simulated expressions are most commonly studied forms of micro expressions.It is not accompanied by a genuine emotion, it is like an effect display.It occurs only as a brief flash of an expression and immediately afterwards the face returnsto its normal state.A neutralized expression occurs when a genuine expression is suppressed and the face remains,otherwise neutral.This type of micro expression is not easily observable.Some people can miss it altogether.A masked expression is when a genuine expression is completely masked by a falsified expression.Masked expressions are also micro expressions that are intended to be hidden either subconsciouslyor consciously.Very few people have the capability to successfully comprehend micro expressions on a face.Researchers tell us that only about 3% of the population can have this capability.Micro expressions can also be controlled voluntary and involuntary.Facial expressions can also be sometimes controlled.Some people are born with the capability to control their expressions.For example, there are some pathological liars who are able to get away with is small lieswhen they are children and then they develop this skill whereas, some other people aretrained to control their micro expressions.However, on an average in professions like us we find that the control of micro expressionsis very difficult.Sometimes we find that people can simulate emotion, expressions and they may attemptto create the impression that they feel an emotion whereas, they are not experiencingit at all.A person may show an expression that looks like fear when in fact they may feel nothingor maybe they feel a different emotion altogether.Another term which Ekman has used is squelched expressions.It means that when expressions are immediately curtailed by instantly changing ones expressions.It is important to note that micro expressions are complete with respect to temporal parameters,but research shows that is squelched expressions are not although last longer.There are different reasons because of which we learn to control our facial expressionof emotion.There may be for example socio-cultural conventions or individual rules running within familiesor a smaller segments of society.Many societies for example encourage certain behavior in young boys and in young girls.Some societies encourage the idea that young boys or little manners they are called donot cry or look afraid.Similarly girls are encouraged not to talk loudly or to show aggression.At the same time there may be other display rules which are considered to be more personal.There may be the product of preferences or even idiosyncrasies of particular individualfamilies or a small socials gatherings.For example, in a family a child may be taught never to look angrily at his father or neverto show sadness when disappointed.These display rules whether they are cultural or personal are usually learnt at a very youngage.For example, researchers tell us that gender conditioning is imbibed by a child beforehe or she has completed 3 years of age.So, the control of the facial expression, these conventions and family atmospheres dictateis done automatically is imbibed in a subconscious manner without being aware of them and therefore,these learnt behaviors allow us to control the expression of our emotions on our face.Here we are displaying a very interesting video from impact movie.It is an analysis of micro expressions and body language.It is an inspiring depiction of three people and how they are able to transform themselvesand overcome their situations.There are lot of scenes where three clients have to negotiate and sell their productsor they try to get an upper hand in a conversation and they are able to do it using their microexpressions and using different strategies of body language.In this particular clip we find that one of the clients Megan has to pitch three investors.What you see here on the investors face is just the two lips going upwards.It is a simple smile and because the two lip corners go upwards symmetrically, it meansthat it is a genuine happiness.If you have look in slow motion with a close up, this is how it looks, all right.See the two lip corners going upwards first slightly and then even more you know thatis a genuine smile.That was an easy one to warm up just an expression of happiness, all right.Once see it once more.What you can see here happening here that is pressed lips and he is staring and thesource of his anger that is why this press lips is a meaning of anger and then what happensis shaking his head, but that is not the micro expression.There is something more.Do you see this little twitch on the right side of his face here before he shakes.No, that is an expression of content superiority.He does not like what he hears, he does not like what he sees.So, here the right solution is a combination of anger and content.Let us have a look in even slower slow motion from closer.This is the pressed lips and the content on the site.So, this little twitched here, this little movement on the right side, I am moving backand forth that is content.That is how you can see it.You see it right here at this moment very very tiny and that is how you can see thatthere is anger and content.In his research Paul Ekman has claimed that micro expressions are perhaps the most promisingcues for detecting a lie.The particular picture which has been displayed here in which one display of emotion is realwhereas, in the second picture the same display is of effect; emotion finds out the differencebetween a true expression and the detection of a lie.Through a micro expression, Ekmans idea has potential applications in various fields.For example, there are significant in clinical diagnosis.They are also significant for understanding contemporary threats to national securityas well as in similar other situation.The potential of this research has encouraged people from various fields to enter this areaand to study it in diverse fields.In this module, I have repeatedly referred to the work of Paul Ekman who is a renownedexpert in emotions research, a non-verbal communication.I conclude this module by displaying this particular snippet in which Paul Ekman isanalyzing an American actor Kato Kaelins micro expressions and he is analyzing how the expressionsof disgust and his con are displayed by this actor.So, you are going to see Kato Kaelin is houseguest of Urge a sentence who is being questionedby Margaret Clark, a district attorney in an unfriendly fashion.At the end of the year of 1993 he was dating Paula Barbieri.Wasn’t he?And he is trying very hard.You can see how I was really feeling which was he is very angry and when he shows isa very fast micro expression of disgust, anger, scorn.He does something like that, but he does it much more quickly than I am doing becauseit is a micro expression.Mister Kaelin, you have got a lot of money for your appearance on current affair.Didn't you?Yes.What you are saying is gone is a combination of anger in disgust we including ours raisingantonius.So, today we have discussed the difference between micro and macro facial expressionsand what exactly is the significance of understanding micro expressions in our interpersonal behavior.In the next module, we would look at the expressions of his smiles as well as the connotative interpretationsof our head notes etcetera.Thank you.