Paul Ekman says eyes are also the windows to lies--as are the mouth, the curve of the eyebrows, the eyelids and other combinations of the 44 muscles in the face. For more than 30 years, Ekman, a professor of psychology at the University of California, San Francisco, has studied nonverbal communication, including lies and how the face betrays the liar. Ekman became involved in studying facial expressions through research on emotions in 13 countries. He found that facial expressions for happiness, fear, anger, disgust, sadness and distress are the same for all people. Anger would cause a thinning of the lips; fear or terror would cause the eyebrows to raise together, upper eyelids to rise and lower eyelids to tense. Ekman said that in the case of a pathological or natural liar, detection is that much harder because the liar believes his story.
How to tell if someone is lying to you, according to researchers
Lying? The Face Betrays Deceiver's True Emotions, But In Unexpected Ways -- ScienceDaily
Just about everyone you know tells low-stakes lies, but some people even go so far as to lie about important matters that could forever change their relationships, end their employment, or even send them to jail. Detecting high-stakes liars is often the work of the FBI, and they frequently look to facial expressions, body language, and verbal indicators as signals, or "tells," that someone is lying. But being able to read facial expressions to detect lies can be beneficial even if you're not conducting criminal investigations, he says. To start, he says it's important to understand how the person in question normally acts.
Facial Expressions: Windows to Emotions That Can Betray Liars
Do you want to find out that your spouse is cheating on you? Do you want to find out the person that you recommended for a job in your company is embezzling? Do you want to find out that your kids are using heroin? We think we do.
Those little white lies are slipping out more often than you realize: One study found that Americans, on average, tell about 11 lies per week. Other research shows that number is on the conservative side. And it gets worse: Those that did lie actually told an average of three lies during that short conversation.