Paul Ekman

“The unhappy person is expected to conceal negative feelings, putting on a polite smile to accompany the, “Just fine, thank you, and how are you?” reply to the, “How are you today?” The true feelings will probably go undetected, not because the smile is such a good mask, but because in polite exchanges people rarely care how the other person feels.”

Paul Ekman

Paul Ekman was a professor of psychology for 32 years in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco. He got his doctorate in clinical psychology at Adelphi University after an internship at the Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute at UCSF. He served two years as First Lieutenant and chief psychologist at Fort Dix, New Jersey before returning to Langley Porter (UCSF) to begin a three year postdoctoral research fellowship.

His studies started out with a focus on hand movements and gestures and cross cultural studies in nonverbal behavior. He developed the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) with W. Friesen in 1978, which remains the go-to system for identifying any movement a face can make. In his more recent years, Dr. Ekman has been working on translating his work to make them more widely available, as well as shifting his focus slightly onto emotions and the motivation behind concealing emotions and interpersonal deception.

Dr. Ekman has earned many honors, ranging from the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association in 1991 to an honorary doctor of humane letters from the University of Chicago in 1994.

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At More Than Sound, Dr. Ekman wrote Knowing Our Emotions, Improving Our Worldand was featured in Daniel Goleman‘s Wired to Connect and The Brain and Emotional Intelligence.

Other Publications:

Emotions Revealed   ◊   Unmasking the Face   ◊   Telling Lies   ◊   Emotional Awareness (co-wrote with the Dalai Lama)   ◊   Darwin and Facial Expression    ◊   Why Kids Lie   ◊   Emotions Revealed   ◊   Emotions Inside and Out   ◊   Emotion in the Human Face   ◊   The Face of Man