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dchump
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Hi Guys, first post!

I saw a TV show about lying the other night featuring a section on "micro-expressions." I was wondering if anyone had ever used this phenomenon.

Basic explanation: There are only eight facial expressions, these are fixed and the same no matter what the culture or geographical location (detailed scientific study exhibited to show this). During the process of lying we often exhibit a "micro-expression" which lasts for 1/25 sec, this shows the true emotion rather than the one being projected in the lie, it's involuntary and you are unaware of doing it. Example: A policeman who used the technique and taught it to others spoke about interviewing an armed robbery suspect, he asked him "So what will happen when I compare your finger prints with those found at the crime scene, the guy showed a micro-expression of fear leading me to believe that one, we had the right guy and two, he hadn't been wearing gloves." In another section the program showed a video tape of a subject asked to present a case for or against the death penalty, lying or telling the truth. The tape was shown in slo-mo with the micro-expressions pointed out which apparently showed he was lying (he was).

It struck me that this could obviously be used as a tool in reading, although I can't believe it's as reliable as the program makers claimed. But it could also be used as an explanation for seemingly miraculous effects during presentation e.g. "Are you aware there are only eight human expressions.... etc." you could even have diagrams and details of the scientific studies, plus it's out there in the public domain so some people may already have heard of it.

Any thoughts?
Julien
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Well, for what it's worth:

- it is NOT 100% reliable

- unless you're staring at your subject, I wonder how you'll do it effectively

- what would be the point of uing it as a tool??? I'd rather use reliable methods.

However, it might be fun to use as a false explanation... Just make sure you know what you're talking about, you never know who is in your audience Smile
dchump
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Julien

I know what you mean, the principal sounds good could couldn't be relied upon. I hasten to add, I'm not recomending this, merely after your opinions

Re using it as a tool: I wondered if it could be used in situation where you expect to get misses e.g. a cold reading session if the subject was not particularly responsive.
Drewmcadam
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Professor Paul Ekman is the author of several excellent articles on micro-expressions. However, I use this as a false explanation as it is worse than useless for anything, to be quite honest. Body language has little place in cold reading or "liar spotting", and as a sub-branch (body language "leakage")micro-expressions have even less use. It SOUNDS good, though!
Mikael Eriksson
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This made me think about some related subjects, lie detector machines, or body language. I will take myself as an example. When I have been accused of something I have not done, I have reacted the same way as I react when I am guilty. People used to say: "If you are innocent, why do you get so upset/get heavier breathing/look so frightened?" This is a big problem for me since I am hard to read from my reactions. As far as I know, I get upset/get heavier breathing/look frightened because I am AFRAID people are going to BELIEVE I am guilty. People used to think I am guilty based on my reaction. I hate to think about what could happen in a place with an omnipotent policeman, who thinks he can "read" people like a book...

Mikael
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Quote:
On 2002-03-22 04:12, dchump wrote:
e.g. a cold reading session if the subject was not particularly responsive.


Hmmm... why would you ever do a cold-reading for non-responsive subject?
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
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"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
MatthewBlackwell
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As someone that likes to investigate anything that even smells of workable methodology I can tell you that Paul Ekman has in fact written an entire book on the subject of telling lies and detecting them. It’s called ‘Telling Lies’ (no surprise there then) and it was published in 1985.

I can’t say that I’ve read it yet (I only borrowed it the day before yesterday) but a glance would appear to suggest that there is mention of micro-expressions (indeed, it’s listed in the index).

The value I suspect, as already suggested, it extremely limited.

Cheers,

Matthew Blackwell
Ian Rowland
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Sounds like another good plausible pseudo-explanation or presentational theme. Otherwise, I doubt it would be particularly reliable.
www.ianrowland.com . Working Magic.
saglaser
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I believe that both Derren Brown and Marc Salem use aspects of body-language reading in their work. Salem uses it off stage as a communications consultant as well. I get the feeling, though, that both use it as a pseudo-explanation as much as reality, but there do seem to be areas where it is usable -- particularly in detecting lies.

It also appears to be true that it is not 100% reliable and that there are no firm rules: x does not always mean y. What you're looking for is not a specific response but a change from the subject's usual pattern.
MatthewBlackwell
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Apparently, just as important as deviation from a pattern - as mentioned by saglaser above - is the 'mis-alignment' of verbal and non-verbal behaviour.

This is discussed in some good depth by David J. Lieberman in his book 'Never Be Lied To Again'. Be cautious of non-verbal reinforcement that comes after the verbal statement. Genuine body-language is tied in with the language – not added afterwards.

…like I say, not terribly useful. How much real emotional ‘fear’ of being ‘found out’ is there likely to be? Most of the techniques seem to depend on this to quite a large extent.

The few other methods seem concerned primarily with the internal thought processes that go into constructing a lie and the overcompensation and delay that are resultantly produced.

Interesting reading, if not really very valuable in mentalism.

Cheers,

Matthew Blackwell
Philemon Vanderbeck
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A brief essay by William Thomas on how to detect liars can be found in my book, "The Collected OORT."

In it, Williams lists 10 quick "rules" that might tip you off to when someone is making an effort to conceal the truth.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
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"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
Fred Darevil
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As a NLP practitioner I can assure you that there are some very efficient techniques to know if someone is lying.
Nearly 100% reliable with a cooperative person.
MatthewBlackwell
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Eye accessing cues?
Mr Amazing
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Quote:
Fred Darevil wrote:
...some very efficient techniques to know if someone is lying. Nearly 100% reliable with a cooperative person.

A cooperative liar?
Andy Leviss
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I recently took a psychology course in non-verbal communication, and the end result of what we studied which included works by Ekman and others on lying as part of the course was that there are signs that are believed to be signals of a liar, but in actual practice they're generally unreliable. But boy, did I pick up on some ideas for presentational bits :o)

On a complete tangent, it looks like I'll be working with this same professor to do an independent study project on the use of psychology in mentalism, based in part on some of the stuff I mention in passing in my book. Should be quite interesting...
Note: I have PMs turned off; if you want to reach me, please e-mail [email]Andy.MagicCafe@DucksEcho.com[/email]!
Julien
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Just a quick note, the (way too) gifted (to be a human being) Steve FORTE published a book on tells in card games. It is said to be EXTREMELY effective. It's not about lies though, but not only are you going to earn money playing cards, but you'll have accurate material on tells to patter about.

Hope this helps a bit.
Fred Darevil
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Hi,
Eye accessing cues is one way. In fact we all have unconscious strategies to obtain the informations we need in our brain.
If you ask someone to say 4 trues assertions and 1 wrong (any ordrer unknown to you) you will notice a difference at one moment in the strategy of the person. Because the ways we obtain true and false informations are not the same.
Of course it is far more difficult in the everyday situation where you can prepare yourself to lie. I speak about conditions YOU can control. When people are not prepared and have to answer quickly.
When I say cooperative I mean, in show conditions, a person relaxed who is not obsessed with the idea to cause you to fail. A person who doesn't constantly try to keep a poker face. In short a "living" person !..
Hope it's more clear.
Best.
Fred
The Bear
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There is a science based program on UK TV called "Tomorrow's World" that a couple of weeks back did an interactive experiment on lying (it's broadcast live). Basically, they showed 3 short videos where 2 people told the truth and the 3rd lied and there was a phone-in poll for voting. Interestingly, they divided the nation into 3 regions and broadcast vision only to one, sound only to another and both sound & vision to the third. The poll results were fairly close although it was the sound only region that were most accurate (it was still only around 20% though).
They then had some studio 'expert' saying that looking at peoples eyes is a waste of time as most people know about this (I'm not as convinced as he was). They then went to to talk about a piece of software that's being used by some Insurance companies that monitors callers voice patterns and does a truth assessment! It reminds me of the old polygraph debate where we still hear some people claiming it's "100% reliable", and others claiming techniques to fool it.
At the end of the day, I think we have to accept that while experience & practice can perhaps tip the odds in our favour, there's no absolute foolproof way.
There are two types of people in the world. Those that divide the world into two types of people, and those that don't.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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I remember watching a show on one of those educational channels (Discovery or The Learning Channel, I think), that dealt with the reliability of polygraphs and found that they're quite dependent on the BELIEF of the subject.

However, they also showed a woman who claimed to be able to detect lying through various body language and voice signals. Out of 10 people where two of them had been instructed to lie, she managed to correctly identify the two liars, and only made one mistake (thinking a truth-teller was also lying) although she admitted she was very uncertain on that particular individual.
Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
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