Darwin observed that animals/people gave hints at their true intent by facial muscles they couldn’t control — the facial muscles were too complicated for the ‘user’ to fully mask the emotion. Researchers then gave us the term micro-expressions (short facial movements uncontrollable by a deceptive person). Microexpression tests emerged soon after.
The LoveLab at the Uof Washington (Bow Down!! Huskies!!) with Dr. Gottman predicted accurately for the divorce rate of people who showed Micro-expressions of disgust toward their spouse (Anger did not cause breakups nearly as often). The emotional indicators for lying tend (not 100%) to be in the upper facial muscles. The study showed reviewers did very well on predicting liars, once they focused on 2 areas. The behavioral scientists using a little math (stats), a little psychology (analysis and prediction of motives), a little anatomy/biology (study of facial muscles and movement) to create some important indicators (not 100%) for forensic teams (police and justice). So how do you profit yourself? Marriage and poker… (tables!). of course.
If you read Gottman’s book “The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work”, you saw that if your spouse gets angry you marriage may be safe, but criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling are (if they predominate) going to accurately predict your divorce. See the before/after shots at Dr. Ekman’s site. Test your own ability to gut-feel micro-expressions (thanks to JasonE!) http://www.cio.com/article/facial-expressions-test. One weird side-effect is to ask if people accurately reflect thier mistaken belief with microexpressions. Here’s the thought-experiment: We know many black man are mistakenly identified in police line-ups, and then falsely convicted. So, we may want to study if rape victims mis-identifying the attacker present different micro-expressions from someone correctly identifying an attacker. Tragically, we have a large pool of wrongly convicted black men in Texas to use for our sample. Does the certainty level change the facial expressions? For an example see: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29613178/
In the event you still think Gottman and micro-expression is crap (I did at first), you better be prepared to prove it, because he has a compelling case. And, numbers won’t help you…his ability to predict divorce after 5 minutes of silent videotape looking for micro-expressions is 90% with newlyweds headed to lawyers within 4 years. He is right 80% on who will last >9 years. So his observations are predictions which bear out in the world over 20 years of testing. I’m not here pushin his best-selling books on how to avoid feeling ‘micro-expressions of disgust,’ The interesting fact is that his video-tape and facial micros-expressions matrix tells you accurately *if* people will divorce. Logically, his ability to predict divorce is competely separate on his ability to coach you on avoiding divorce; micro-expressions are sub-conscious after all:) . I am not here to tell you Gottman knows how to stay married. The article is an extension on Gottman’s real finding: The Facial expressions Darwin mentioned can be studied, and ‘bad’ facial triggers appear. AND, you can get a lot better than coin-flipping to determine if Michael is lying. Speaking of Michael White: he’s perhaps the most idiotic criminal this year (he deserves the Darwin just for stupidity). However, facial micro-expression analysis says Mike may have another award headed his way. Mike White’s police interrogation video shows anger through tears. No sad micro-expressions. I am sure the police most likely wondered who the phychology dork was who was reviewing the Gottman matrix against this guy. 3 days after tears, in interview with reporters he he got so upset at the police’s investigation for his dead wife…he led a team to where he had killed her…hmmmmm Anyway, the article promises more cool studies on this soon. Mike will be reading his copy from jail.