Paul Ekman studies facial expressions and the way they can signal deception and reflect a person’s true underlying emotion. Ekman’s research was the first to show that some types of facial expressions (such as fear, disgust, and anger) are universal among all cultures; and along with Wallace V. Friesen he developed the widely used Facial Action Coding System – a taxonomy of every facial expression. His research on identifying deception and hidden demeanor is used by law enforcement and national security organizations to help identify security threats. Ekman was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people, one of APA’s most influential psychologists of the 20th century, and was the inspiration for the main character, Cal Lightman, on the TV show “Lie to Me.” Ekman has even consulted with the animation studio Pixar to help bring their characters to life. He is the recipient of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) William James Fellow Award for his lifetime of significant intellectual contributions to the basic science of psychology.
October 23, 2013