Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the common questions we get asked about EIA, our Training Courses, Services and more.

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Q. Can I train to be a trainer?


Only top class experienced/qualified trainers will be accepted onto the Paul Ekman International ‘Train the Trainer’ programmes.

Most applicants have significant experience in the emotional/deception fields, many have a solid social science background and must have already attended the Evaluating Truthfulness and Credibility and the Emotional Skills and Competences courses so they have experienced the courses as delegates. They will have established, or be working within, a Licensed Delivery Centre.

Newly trained trainers will go through an extensive development process before they become an Approved Trainer for the company. We are happy to help you if you are currently working on a career that is going in this direction. Contact us for such help.

Q. How do I become a lie detector like Dr. Cal Lightman on “Lie to Me”?


There is no such “career” as a lie detector – you can however learn the “skill” of detection through training programmes like those we deliver through Paul Ekman International plc.

Once you have acquired this skill it can be used in so many different contexts such as the obvious law/security enforcement, but also in many other areas. Most researchers in this field of facial expressions study some area of psychology, either cultural, behavioral or social. Also teachers and trainers/coaches to be able to “read” that their students are in fact understanding the sessions. Doctors who need to know that their patients are telling them the truth so that they are able to diagnose quickly and safely. Sales and management personnel who need to be sensitive to their client and employee needs.

Q. How true/real is the science in “Lie to Me”?


Obviously this show is meant for entertainment. However, it is most important to Dr. Paul Ekman that people understand the differences between the fact and the fiction.

You can find his blog “The Truth behind Lie to Me” for each episode on the FOX website.

Q. Is the training available all over the world?


At this time all of our training programmes are exclusively through our Licensed Delivery Centres. Initially, the training is taking place in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.

Q. My child has Aspergers Syndrome-what training do you recommend?


We have had many families ask this question-there is certainly some research going on at this time. Dr. Ekman recommends the SETT training at a slow speed.

Q. What education and schools do you recommend for studying this field?


The easy answer is to say take a graduate degree in Psychology with a specialization in emotions/behavior. However we strongly recommend that you contact your school guidance or closest College/University counsellors. They are best qualified and most up to date on the programs/schools available-they will take into account your strengths, interests, experience and goals and make recommendations for the best “match”!

Due to high demand we are now setting up a network of Licensed Delivery Centres so that we can give people and organisations direct access to the areas of emotional skills and deception.

Emotional Intelligence Academy are about to launch a MSc in Forensic Emotion Awareness and are looking for an initial pilot group of 20 delegates for this leading edge initiative.

We believe these are core skills for life. If we understand our own emotions and those of others this can make a big difference in the quality of our relationships, compassion and dealings with others.

We wish you much success in this development and research – as such learning and research is a huge component for the continuing development of this area of science.

Q. What is Facial Action Coding System (FACS)?


The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is an internationally recognized, sophisticated research tool that precisely measures the entire spectrum of human facial expressions. FACS has elucidated the physiological presence of emotion with very high levels of reliability. FACS has played a particularly important role in predicting patterns related to deception at about 80% accuracy.

Created in the 1970s by psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace V. Friesen FACS provides a comprehensive taxonomy of human facial expressions. FACS remains the most widely used and acclaimed method for coding the minutest movements of the human face.

The system dissects observed expressions by determining how facial muscle contractions alter appearance. Each movement is categorized into specific Action Units (AUs), which represent the contraction or relaxation of one or more muscles. All facial expressions can be decomposed into their constituent AUs and described by duration, intensity, and asymmetry. Trained experts examine patterns in the changing nature of facial appearance including: movement, changes in shape and location of the features, and the gathering, pouching, bulging and wrinkling of the skin. Understanding the coordination between action units and certain expressions illuminates the implications of human body language and non verbal behavior.

Applications of FACS:

One of the most well known applications of FACS has been to distinguish Duchenne (or “genuine”) smiles from social (or “fake”) smiles. The specificity of FACS coding reveals the anatomical elements which make it difficult to fake a Duchenne smile. While the social smile involves the contraction of a singular facial muscle, the Duchenne smile is activated by the involuntary movement of multiple muscle groupings.

FACS can be used in the following ways:

  • The measurement of facial behavior and detailed detection of specific emotional expressions.
  • Research tool for measurement and discovery of new patterns of movements and relationships.

Benefits of Using FACS over other facial measurement systems:

  • FACS is comprehensive and unbiased as a system of facial movement measurement. It can be used as a descriptive method encompassing all observable behavior or it can be specified to describe emotion specific behavior.
  • FACS is unobtrusive. FACS can be applied without the subjects awareness that their faces are being analyzed.

Research demonstrates FACS has successfully:

  • Discovered various patterns reliably related to deception, at 80% accuracy. (Ekman, 2001; Ekman et. al., 1988; Ekman, O’Sullivan, Friesen, & Scherer, 1991; Frank & Ekman, 1997)
  • Predicted coping with traumatic loss. (Bonnano & Keltner, 1997)
  • Predicted the onset and remission of depression, schizophrenia, and other psychopathology. (Ekman & Rosenberg, 1997)
  • Discriminated suicidal from non-suicidal depressed patients. (Heller & Haynal, 1994)
  • Predicted transient myocardial ischemia in coronary patients. (Rosenberg et al., 2001)
  • Identified patterns of facial activity involved in alcohol intoxication.
How can FACS work for you?

Emotional expression transcends the barriers of race, ethnicity, culture, gender, religion, and age. Decades of research has shown that regardless of background, humans express facial emotions in exactly the same way. The ability to read the facial changes that accompany and predict emotional behavior is an indispensable component of effective communication.

Persons trained in FACS can utilize these concepts in conjunction with their expertise to benefit those who conduct interviews, interrogations, and business transactions as well as those involved in law enforcement, security, and the legal and healthcare systems with their expert insight and analysis.

Notes courtesy of Maggie Pazian – VisualEmotion

Q. What is the difference between Paul Ekman training compared to other offerings?


Our approach is unique in that all our work is rooted in firm science and it is the only training available outside of the PEG llc organisation that is endorsed by Dr Paul Ekman.

You will know if it is Paul Ekman approved as you will see the Paul Ekman logo. Some providers are geared to interrogation – we are different in that we do not encourage a confession, but instead try to gain enough trust by understanding the subject’s emotional state so that they will feel comfortable enough to talk to us. Our research shows the more they talk the more likely you can correctly evaluate credibility.

We provide training in reading micro expressions and subtle expressions to assist in determining whether a person is giving you truthful or false information. We recommend you read both of Dr. Ekman’s books: Telling Lies (2009) and Emotions Revealed (2009) for additional information.

Q. What jobs can I apply for?


Again, there is no such job listing as “lie detector” but you can utilize this skill in most jobs where you are required to work with people. Those who are highly experienced and skilled through our programmes may end up employed within one of our Licensed Delivery Centres.

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