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Emotions Revealed, Paul Ekman

"Emotions determine the quality of our lives"


"Emotion is a process, a particular kind of automatic appraisal influenced by our evolutionary and personal past, in which we sense that something important to our welfare is occuring, and a set of physiological changes and emotional behaviors begins to deal with the situation. Words are one way to deal with our emotions, and we do use words when emotional, but we cannot reduce emotion to words."

p. 13

"Recent research has found three ways in which fear differs depending on whether the threat is immediate or impending. First, the different threats result in different behavior: immediate threat usually leads to action (freezing or flight) that deals with the threat, while worry about an impending threat leads to increased vigilance and muscular tension. Second, the response to an immediate threat is often analgesic, reducing pain sensations, while worry about an impending threat magnifies pain. And last, there is some evidence to suggest that an immediate threat and an impending threat each involve different areas of brain activity."

p. 156

"The fear of being caught is the most common emotion felt about engaging in a lie. But fear is only generated when the stakes are high; that is, the liar believes that the rewards that can be obtained, and the punishments that must be avoided, are high. Even then, not all liars will fear being caught. If the target of a person's lie has a reputation for being gullible, or if the liar has been repeatedly successful in the past in telling just such a lie to his or her target, or a person very similar to the target, it is unlikely that the liar will feel or express fear."

p. 220

"In all of these situations, emotions do not tell us their source, and hot spots are not proof of lying. A concealed emotion in a micro expression or a normal facial expression that contradicts the words, voice, or gesture of the person indicate that we need to ask for further explanation; that is all. It's worth repeating: Hot spots mark the moments when we need to find out more to make an accurate evaluation of truthfulness."

p. 223

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