Microexpressions and Deception

  • Mark G. FrankEmail author
  • Elena Svetieva


There has been much interest in microexpressions and deception with the advent of recent popular television programs touting their abilities to predict deception. The research picture is considerably more complicated, but at the same time considerably more straight forward. Microexpressions are brief in duration facial expressions of emotion. They are brief due to conflicting brain signals associated with pyramidal and extrapyramidal motor system activity. These microexpressions last less than 1/2 a second and can be fragmentary. They as indicators of emotional states, they can predict deception when the individual’s emotional state contradicts their claimed or stated emotional state. Research has shown that they occur often in deception and that individuals who are good at identifying these microexpressions are also good at identifying deception. Research also shows that individuals can be trained to better recognize these expressions and that has implications for law enforcement, medicine, security, and other situations where reading the true emotional states of others may be important.


Microexpressions Emotions Deception Detection 


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© Springer India 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity at Buffalo, State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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