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Emotions Revealed: Understanding Faces and Feelings Hardcover – May 8, 2003

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Editorial Reviews


There has been huge interest from the media in this fascinating book and Paul is over here at the moment doing publicity. He has done an interview for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH where the journalist and Paul went round the National Gallery looking at the paintings with Paul reading the emotions on the portraits. He has also been interviewed for the GUARDIAN, which will run in their LIFE SECTION on 19 June. Paul wrote a big piece for THE OBSERVER which ran in theircrime supplmenent on Sunday 27 April. While he was here Paul was interviewedon THIS MORNING (ITV) 3 June, THE FI GLOVER SHOW (BBC Radio 5 Live) 2 June, JOHNNIE WALKER SHOW (BBC Radio 2), 2 June, EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER (BBC Radio4), BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE and NEWSTALK 106 for Ireland. Reviews are just starting to come in: 'Here Paul Ekman doyen of contemporary emotion researchers, turns to the practical management of emotion in everyday life. The result is an outstanding example of popular scientific writing.'NEW SCIENTIST 'There are some fascinating titbits along the way. I was struck by his suggestion thatwhile emotions are vital tools for dealing with the outside world, moods area destructive by-product and that we'd be better off without them. Ekman canbe riveting on the minutae of facial expressions, especially the way that anexpression can be observed even when an emotion is being half-felt or suppressed.'Robert Hanks, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'A brilliant and gripping read'THE GOO

About the Author

Paul Ekman is a professor of psychology at the University of California and a world-renowned expert on facial expression, deception and emotion. He has consulted on and appeared in many television programmes in both the UK and US and is the author or editor of 14 books and over 100 scientific papers.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; 1St Edition edition (May 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029760757X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297607571
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #902,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

283 of 301 people found the following review helpful By Susan C. Gill on March 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
btw I'm Susan Gill's son.

Dr Ekman has been getting alot of attention lately, due to the fact that he is the scientific consultant for the new show on Fox "Lie to Me". The show is even based off of his science. In fact, it's the reason I got into this type of behavioral science. So if like me you want to strengthen your ability to catch liars or see hidden emotions in the face, this book is without a doubt your best bet.

What makes this book so good is that Ekman includes pictures of every single emotion, and describes them in detail so that you should know which emotion should be felt at which time. Pictures are abundant in each chapter for each specific emotion On top of that, the book even has a test you can take to see how well you can read emotions before, and after you read the book.

Another very helpful thing is that he even gives a negation signal people can make in the face called "mouth shrugs", and the difference between a mouth shrug and sadness. This was an issue if you've seen the "Moral Waiver", because it was hard to spot in that particular episode what exactly a mouth shrug looked like. In fact, I know what a mouth shrug looks like and I STILL have a harder time seeing what they did with it, so on that note this book is very useful.

As for using it for lie detection, the extra chapter included in this edition is extremely useful. It describes the two types of errors a person can make when interpreting signals for lying, but not in so much detail that it kills you (I.E "Telling Lies"). It's almost as if it summarizes some of what "Telling Lies" says, so it's really good after you read "Telling Lies" to read that chapter if you're having any issues.
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Rick Rumford on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
On the topic of body language and the display of emotions, Dr. Ekman is probably the most knowledgeable man alive. His writings are based on decades of real, scientific research and experimentation. In this second edition, he does a great job of explaining the root causes of emotions and then showing how emotions are displayed on the individual's face.

Dr. Ekman was among the first to identify micro-expressions, which he first identified as he studied a tape of a suicidal woman who was filmed denying her intent to commit suicide. By identifying her micro expressions, he was able to determine that, contrary to her verbal statements, she remained suicidal and in need of care and supervision.

Dr. Ekman peppers the book with many examples and anecdotes. For example, he shows how John Dean, Counselor to President Nixon, undercut his own credibility with an overly detailed memory description. The book is full of these kinds of anecdotes and examples.

Bonus: The appendix provides a visual test that the reader can use to determine their own proficiency in recognizing and reading emotions. I found the test to be interesting and instructive.

This book is a well-researched, scholarly work that will benefit any person interested in learning more about how to read and recognize the emotions of others. If you are looking for something with more entertainment value and more illustrations, you might check out The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Ellwood VINE VOICE on September 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
In Emotions Revealed, Ekman discusses how a person's face can be "read" to determine what kind of emotions s/he is feeling. The author then proceeds to focus on emotions such as contempt, disgust, sadness, happiness, and anger. In each chapter he has a model who shows different expressions. He explains in great detail how to read the facial expressions as well as what they seem to mean. He also has an exercise that people can do to use facial expressions to invoke feelings. Overall, it's a fascinating read, which shows how much the face is integral to feeling emotion as well as expressing it. At times, the book is dry and can be a bit of a slog to read through, but Ekman does a fairly comprehensive job of explaining the subject. I'm already eager to see how I can apply the concepts in my everyday communication.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen Fletcher on March 17, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how well this book is helping me read other people's emotions but it is sure helping me read my own. I am realizing I am spending way too much time stewing over the past or projecting fear into the future and am missing the present moment. By becoming aware of my facial movements I'm finding it much easier to redirect my mental chatter onto more positive and constructive pathways.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Yongyong Wu on October 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Point of the review

As a student in Neuroscience class, I read this book because its discussion about emotions corresponds to my research topic in Pseudobulbar Palsy. The central focus of this book, emotions, caught my attention since emotions are a huge part of our lives and we are constantly dealing with our own as well as other people's emotions everyday. Thus understanding better of emotions, I may be able to improve relationships with people in a more conscious way.

overall opinion of the book

I love how this book allows you to be able to reflect on yourself in terms of how you express emotions and how well you deal with them; as you're reading the book, you are slowly becoming aware of why certain people act a certain way (because of the impact of their emotional state) and being able to evaluate other people's emotions more accurately so that you can avoid conflicts to occur. This book is very practical to real life situations. I feel that reading this book definitely helped me to improve the quality of my emotional life in the sense that now I am more aware of my own and others' feelings through noticing the facial, vocal, and physical emotions expressed.

Style and structure of the book.

This book is written in first person by a professor, Dr. Paul Ekman, who has dedicated his research in emotions through scientific studies around the world.
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