Apparently according to new research undertaken at the Forensic Psychology Lab at
As graduate student Leanne ten Brinke explained “The face and its musculature are so complex—so much more complex than anywhere else in our external bodies. There are some muscles in the face you can’t control and those muscles won’t be activated in the absence of genuine emotion you just can’t do it.”
In conducting the research adult participants were enlisted to view images that ranged from happy (puppies playing) to fearful (a close-up of open-mouthed rabid dog) and disgusting (a severed hand) and were instructed to respond with genuine or deceptive emotional expressions. (For example, they’d be directed to smile when viewing the severed-hand photo.) Their reactions were watched and judged by other volunteer observers, who could not see the corresponding images, and recorded on video. The clips were then analysed and the results showed that were no one participant was able to falsify emotions perfectly. Odd or out-of-place expressions, such as smirking or rapid blinking in a supposedly sad face, were more likely to show up when the participant was attempting to be deceptive. Some emotions were harder to falsify than others happiness is easier to fake than disgust or fear.
The researchers were able to discern rare “microexpressions,” flashes of true emotion that show briefly, from one-fifth to one-25th of a second, on the faces of participants when instructed to deceive.
“The facial expression appears to crack and another emotion leaks on the face, however briefly,” says Ms. ten Brinke. “When you see a facial expression like this, you’ve got to probe with questions to find out why the person is feeling this way.”
It seems that the face does reveal all, but blink and you might miss it.
But by way of an example...