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Hey guys. First post. :D

Anyways, I'm currently in college, 2nd year, getting all the unimportant stuff out of the way and starting to think of a career. I like a lot of things and read about all sorts of things (psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, music) but mainly, I really enjoy studying the mind and behavior. Specifically, I love reading and studying microexpressions and deception. I like to believe myself as a natural when it comes to these kinds of things. In a natural conversation with a person I always catch little face movements and slips. I have recently read many of Paul Ekman's books and have skimmed through the FACS a few times.

For those of you who have watched the show 'Lie to Me', I usually catch the microexpression or gesture before they even point it out. I would absolutely LOVE to do this kind of thing as a career (interrogation, working for law enforcement on cases from a psychological perspective, etc) but don't know what to major in or what it's even called (Deception psychology?) or even if it's an in demand kind of career.

Anyways, I appreciate any and all answers. I just want to know where I should head from here.

Thanks,
Nick

:D
 

Psychology 76

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Jan 22, 2009
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Hey guys. First post. :D

Anyways, I'm currently in college, 2nd year, getting all the unimportant stuff out of the way and starting to think of a career. I like a lot of things and read about all sorts of things (psychology, psychiatry, anthropology, music) but mainly, I really enjoy studying the mind and behavior. Specifically, I love reading and studying microexpressions and deception. I like to believe myself as a natural when it comes to these kinds of things. In a natural conversation with a person I always catch little face movements and slips. I have recently read many of Paul Ekman's books and have skimmed through the FACS a few times.

For those of you who have watched the show 'Lie to Me', I usually catch the microexpression or gesture before they even point it out. I would absolutely LOVE to do this kind of thing as a career (interrogation, working for law enforcement on cases from a psychological perspective, etc) but don't know what to major in or what it's even called (Deception psychology?) or even if it's an in demand kind of career.

Anyways, I appreciate any and all answers. I just want to know where I should head from here.

Thanks,
Nick

:D
Well a psychology major would probably be your best bet for getting into that field. Though I will say I'm not too familiar with microexpresions and don't know how much empirical data supports them. Nonetheless, it sounds like a psychology major with a focus in forensic psychology would be very fitting for your interests :)
 

erg923

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check out the work of Paul Ekman.

However, I am always humbled by the limits of my clinical judegment in this field. I much prefer more objective methods.
 

psychanxiety

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It sounds like you're interested in nonverbal communication and deception, with an emphasis on forensics. Those would be the key words to throw in PsychInfo and Google Scholar to find more articles. Also check out Zuckerman, Rosenthal, Nowicki, and DePaulo. I like the SAGE Handbook on Nonverbal Communication, which you should be able to get at your school library or at least through interlibrary loan.

As for "Lie to Me", I think that Ekman has found an excellant forum to push his spin on nonverbal communication to the masses, without the need for peer review. Some of it I agree with, some of it not so much.
 

erg923

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whoops, I didnt know "lie to me" was the show with ekman. I had never seen it before. But I agree, while interesting, I am somewhat irritated by the message that it seems send to young impressionable newbies and undergrads. Namley, that "eye-balling" and judegments/decisions based on clinical experience are they ways in which psychologists investigate and "analyze" behavior. Meehl wrote about the dangers of this mindset over 50 years ago. The field has been slow to adopt its unfortunate truths.
 

Therapist4Chnge

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While there is some research out there about first impression accuracy, I'd be very hesitant to jump into micro-expressions as a primary way to evalute truthfulness, etc. I did some research during my undergrad years into truthfulness and deception, and according to the research, other evaluations are needed to properly evaluate those areas. Non-verbals only provide one piece of the puzzle, and often times are out of context if other assessments are not incorporated.
 

Ollie123

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Ekman's work is generally solid and pretty well done. However, like anything in this field, it absolutely cannot stand on its own. I don't doubt microexpressions exist and are meaningful, but the style of interrogation on Lie to Me is BS, through and through. As others have said, its one piece of a very complicated puzzle.

That said, I actually kind of enjoy Lie to Me, just keep in mind its massively Hollywooded-up and not at all a picture of reality. I think Ekman consults for the show, but I doubt it was his idea and from what I know of him, he'd probably be the first to tell you what you see on there isn't reality. Going into psychology to be the next Lightman would be like becoming a doctor because of House or Grey's Anatomy! The real world just isn't like that.

That said, if you are interested in this general area, forensic psych is definitely one route. Again though, don't go into it expecting it to be like the show. There will be a lot more paperwork, staring at numbers, etc. It can take hours to code a couple minutes of video using FACS, even for people who are "experts" at it - they kind of gloss over that fact on the show.
 
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