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Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Expressions
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Unmasking the Face: A Guide to Recognizing Emotions from Facial Expressions

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  953 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Can you tell when someone who is actually afraid is trying to look angry? Can you tell when someone is feigning surprise? With the help of Unmasking the Face, you will be able to improve your recognition of the facial clues to emotion, increase your ability to detect "facial deceit," and develop a keener awareness of the way your own face reflects your emotions. Using scor ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Malor Books (first published July 1st 1975)
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Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was very pleased with this book. I've been doing a lot of reading on micro-expressions and watching documentaries and tv shows about lie detecting and reading body language, etc, and this book is one of the most helpful resources I've come across so far. Not only is it easy to read, even for those who are completely unfamiliar with micro-expressions or anything related, it covers the basics while not being overly boring for those who are familiar with the subject. Each chapter has very detaile ...more
Nov 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Paul Ekman is the world's expert on deceit, facial expressions, and reading the face. He has studied the face more rigorously than any other researcher, and his findings include proof that many basic facial expressions are universal among world cultures, that people have 'micro expressions' which last only a 20th of a second, but indicate concealed or underlying emotions, and that you can be trained to increase your ability to detect concealed emotions. This book is a basic manual of Ekman's fin ...more
Mary Ann
I am changing this book from currently reading to read, even though I haven't read it. I got about halfway through it and decided to use it primarily as a reference book.

The subtitle of this book is "A guide to recognizing emotions from facial expressions". The value is that it has many photos of faces expressing emotions and variations in intensity and combinations of those emotions. It's a training tool for reading faces, and it includes quizzes so you can test yourself.

You may have heard of
Mary Overton
From the chapter FACIAL DECEIT

"Four Reasons Why People Control Facial Expressions
"We have coined the phrase DISPLAY RULES to describe what people learn, probably quite early in their lives, about the need to manage the appearance of particular emotions in particular situations. For example, middle-class, urban, white, adult males in the United States follow the display rule of not showing fear in public. Their female counterparts in the pre-matron or pre-maternal role follow the display rule of
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
I'm obsessed with the Tim Roth show Lie to Me - this is by Pual Ekman, the facial expression researcher on whom the show is based. It's dry, but fascinating!
Ashwathi Pillai
Aug 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
this book was so dumb wtf if you need a guide to read such basic signs you're probably really thick or something idk
Zy Marquiez
Jan 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-reviews
In the current state of worldwide affairs, knowing how people feel is a vital skill. Knowing when people are lying, even more so.

While reading emotions might seem like a straight forward task, it is quite certainly not for most. If such were the case, why is it that so many people fall prey for the lies from politicians & people in power when it’s obvious to others they are lying? Why is most of the populace unable to read lies when a select few can do so at will? Dr. Ekman’s book answers th
Petrie Serrano
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-for-work, owned
This book is unintentionally a fantastic resource for creating subtle (or not so subtle) facial expressions for specific emotions or mixed emotions in cartooning, comics or portraits. Three-D modelers whose work seems to have a staring problem might also get a lot of use out of it. All the muscles used for each expression are described and demonstrated, and there are base photos in the back to cut out and use to mix expressions on the fly.

I'm willing to bet writers who get stuck sometimes while
Jan 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. This book opened an awareness in me that I could have never imagined. Within days of starting this book I realized how much more acutely aware I was of the microfacial expressions people all around me were making without realizing what they were revealing. I plan to read the rest of his books...who wouldn't want to be able to read what others are truly thinking/feeling without them knowing it? This book really has helped me to understand the emotions of those around me and how to bett ...more
Amani Haak
This book is written as if it was some research paper. It spends too much of the content telling us the validity and importance of studying face to reveal emotions. I didn't really learn anything new. Plus, I was annoyed by the low quality pictures.
Stuart Macalpine
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Much better than Ekmans other texts - detailed and practical, with opportunities for skills practice to identify nuances of emotion in facial expressions.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
most of it is common sense.
Apr 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an authoritative guide to facial expressions. Paul Ekman does a phenomenal job breaking down every little construct that goes into emotional expression, and does so in a very structured and straight-forward manner.

Although this text was meant as a textbook, it still felt dry, dense, and hard to get through. I'm sure Ekman has a plethora of stories he could sprinkle in to make this book a bit more interesting and still achieve the same academic rigor.

All in all in a great, if tedious, rea
It reads like a textbook and is far less compelling than his other works that I've read (Telling Lies, Emotions Revealed). Both of the other books kept me deeply engaged and glossed over topics covered earlier in the book to save you from having to flip around.

I'm also inclined to believe that this book is simply terrible to read in ebook format unless it is completely re-designed for the format with links to jump to and from the sample pictures.
Apr 29, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who need to know the true emotion(s) of whom they are dealing with
A detailed analysis of how facial expressions are formed and combined to show emotion.

A great book for actors, counselors, interrogaters, and (I suppose) con artists.

I found the book interesting on a personal level. I sometimes read facial expressions that are at odds with what the person is saying and I was curious to see if I was reading people correctly. Yep.

Rolling Ideas
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Manuals of explaining 7 basic universal emotions - anger, disgust, surprise, fear, contempt, happy, sadness.

The manual is comprehensive until you read FACS. Facial expression is awfully helpful to decode the underlying notes of the expressive language.

As learning the facial expression takes practice, the book's worth in review once in a while.
Rachael Bottone
This book felt like reading a textbook. It was extremely dry & too straightforward. That being said, facial expression recognition isn't normally an area that I read much about or really have a passion for which may be why I found the book less interesting than I was hoping. Eckman may be a boring writer but I did find the book to be very informative & eye-opening.
Andreas Michaelides
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is filled with useful, productive and interesting information.
The angle of the subject is approached is different and makes you think.
I found it to be an excellent resource for anyone that would like to study expressions or improve the ability of recognizing emotions by looking at other people faces.
Tatiana Pastukhova
I've found this book easy to read, entertaining and very practical.
I love the fact that beside theoretical knowledge it also gives exercises which allow to apply and sharpen your learnings.
Strongly recommended to everybody and especially to "Lie to me" fans.
Nov 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It is a good book despite its (kind of) commercial title.

The remarks Paul Ekman often add are very proper. He is trying to avert his readers not to limit themselves to some ''psychological theories'' while judging other people's emotions and not only.
Nakul Shenoy
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very detailed treatise into the facial expressions and their linkage to emotions. Loads of photographs to help understand the intricacies and also interesting tips to practice and learn the techniques. Can prove to be a cumbersome read though.
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this more than Emotions Revealed. What a kick: do scientific research and end up a celebrity! Is it all that? I'm still not so sure to be honest. I rather enjoy the fact that he makes constant reference to Charles Darwin. It puts the puff in perspective.
Andrea Luck
This was interesting. I think I expected a little more. The man's images they used in this book weren't as expressive as I would have expected. The woman's images were far more expressive and realistic looking.
Good intro into facial recognition.
Jun 13, 2012 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting so far....
Todd Baltz
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a good, practical book to learn about facial expressions.
Dave Peticolas
May 10, 2014 rated it liked it

A mostly dry but occasionally interesting survey of how people express emotions with their face.

Jun 13, 2013 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
unbelievable book
Jan 17, 2008 rated it liked it
Empirical findings on expression of emotion on the face, and the relation between facial expression and emotions.
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American psychologist that pioneered the study of emotions' relationship to facial expressions.
More about Paul Ekman...
“In some instances, you may care so much about the person who has hurt you, or be so unable to be angry with him (or with anyone), that you rationalize his hurtful acts by finding some basis in your own actions for his hurtful behavior; you then feel guilty rather than angry. Put in other terms, you become angry with yourself rather than with the one who hurt you.” 22 likes
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