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Emotions Revealed: Understanding Faces and Feelings [Hardcover]

Paul Ekman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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Book Description

8 May 2003
Whatever culture we come from, emotions play a huge role in our lives and in every relationship within them. Whether anger, joy, fear or sorrow, they can be incredibly powerful things - but can be equally hard to understand or control. In EMOTIONS REVEALED, Paul Ekman draws on a lifetime's study to take the reader on a complete tour of the emotional self. Against a background of specially commissioned photographs and forceful news images from around the world, he examines and explains how, when and why we become emotional and how far we can change what we get emotional about; why we sometimes get emotional when others don't; how to recognise and understand the subtlest signs of emotion both in ourselves and other people, and much more. This stunning volume contains a test to find out how good you are at spotting emotions, excercises to improve your awareness of the bodily sensations involved in each emotion and an explanation of how to apply all this information to enhance your daily life.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson; First Edition edition (8 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029760757X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0297607571
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 474,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Psychologist and author of Emotions Revealed, Paul Ekman has been studying emotion for over 40 years specialising in the expression, and more recently on the physiology, of emotion. It shows. Emotions Revealed focuses on the universal emotions--the ones experienced by all human beings and for which there are clear universal expressions (sadness, anger, surprise, fear, disgust, contempt and enjoyment). The goal of the book is to help the reader better understand and improve their emotional lives in practical ways.

The fascinating opening chapter describes the history and development of Ekman's research and things just get more and more interesting as we get closer to the emotions themselves. He leads us to the big questions: Why do we become emotional when we do? What triggers each of our emotions and how and when we can change what we become emotional? Will emotion always, somehow (in a "micro-expression" perhaps) reveal itself? Ekman also explains how we can become more attentive to our emotions as we have them and so increase the possibility of behaving in emotionally more constructive ways.

Having prepared the territory Ekman then moves to physiological ground explaining that each emotion has unique signals, most readily identified in the face and voice, that generate a unique pattern of sensations in our body. By becoming better acquainted with those sensations we may become aware early enough in our emotional response that we have some chance to choose, if we like, whether to go along or interfere with the emotion. We are also made aware of the connection this process has to the Buddhist practice and ideal of "mindfulness" through Ekman's discussions with the Dalai Lama. The appendix contains a set of photographs designed to test our skill at spotting the subtlest signs of the various emotions which the reader is advised to take before beginning the book. --Larry Brown


There has been huge interest from the media in this fascinating book and Paul is over here at the moment doing publicity. He has done an interview for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH where the journalist and Paul went round the National Gallery looking at the paintings with Paul reading the emotions on the portraits. He has also been interviewed for the GUARDIAN, which will run in their LIFE SECTION on 19 June. Paul wrote a big piece for THE OBSERVER which ran in theircrime supplmenent on Sunday 27 April. While he was here Paul was interviewedon THIS MORNING (ITV) 3 June, THE FI GLOVER SHOW (BBC Radio 5 Live) 2 June, JOHNNIE WALKER SHOW (BBC Radio 2), 2 June, EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER (BBC Radio4), BBC RADIO SHROPSHIRE and NEWSTALK 106 for Ireland. Reviews are just starting to come in: 'Here Paul Ekman doyen of contemporary emotion researchers, turns to the practical management of emotion in everyday life. The result is an outstanding example of popular scientific writing.'NEW SCIENTIST 'There are some fascinating titbits along the way. I was struck by his suggestion thatwhile emotions are vital tools for dealing with the outside world, moods area destructive by-product and that we'd be better off without them. Ekman canbe riveting on the minutae of facial expressions, especially the way that anexpression can be observed even when an emotion is being half-felt or suppressed.'Robert Hanks, THE DAILY TELEGRAPH 'A brilliant and gripping read'THE GOO

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First Sentence
I have included in this book all that I have learned about emotion during the past forty years that I believe can be helpful in improving one's own emotional life. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating study 8 Mar 2004
As far as I am concerned, the book was an eye-opener. After all, it IS possible to understand what other people feel! The book is just brilliant. Not only invaluable practical tips on how to read emotions from the face, but also theoretical and phylosophical aspects of the study of emotions are presented. I personally very much appreciate the subchapters on how to use the information we get from the facial expressions; the advices given there made me think about myself and my relations with other people. This book makes communication with people much more interesting and more complete. Definite must-read for those interested!
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Full of insight 19 July 2010
By Linden
This is a very interesting book that encourages you to consider your emotions much more than people commonly do. This isn't a self-help book or a catalogue of quick gimmicks that you can use in the office, it's based on much more scholarly research. Given the title, I wish the marketers had decided on a different colour sleeve. As a man reading a pink book on emotions on the tube I raised more than one comment, and the branding is misleading in any case.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Solid Introduction to Psychology 6 Sep 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Much of peoples expectations in buying this book probably spring from shows like "Lie to Me" with Tim Roth. While there is mention of micro expressions I wasn't naive or self obsessed enough to think that I could completely understand someone from their facial expressions So I thoroughly enjoyed the book

It is very well structured and thus easy to remember, divided mainly into 3 sections:

1. The Expression and development of emotion in individuals across different cultures/ situations and how that is triggered and developed and how to deal with it. E.g "Emotional scripts", "Triggers" and "Autoappraisers"(senses that continually scan for inate & Learned information and react to it)
2. Discussion of the Basic/primal emotions Anger, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, Contempt, Surprise, Enjoyment
3. Criticism of his own work(a fact for which I alwasy feel gratified in scientific work as it shows the writer/researcher isn't consumed with his own greatness) And Tests for recognizing emotions

I really enjoyed the book and it left me wanting to go out and identify emotions in my family and friends. I would recommend this to anyone - In fact I think it should be made compulsory reading for all teachers and managers, as in my experience emotions are often misconstrued.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I have just finished reading the three most popular books on body language, namely 'The Definitive Book of Body Language' by Allan & Barbara Pease, 'What Every Body Is Saying' by Joe Navarro and 'Emotions Revealed' by Paul Ekman. Out of the three, I would say that 'The Definitive Book of Body Langugage' is my favourite and since 'What Every Body Is Saying' is a quick read - took me just three days, it acts as a good re-enforcement. Paul Ekman's book, however, is a tough read and you could face a real risk giving up half-way through the book.

'The Definitive Book of Body Language' by Allan & Barbara Pease (5 stars)
Explains numerous body signals and hand gestures that appear familiar to us in real life as well as teaches us how to utilize this knowledge through scenarios which are common to most of us. The chapter Courtship Displays and Attraction Gestures was especially intriguing.

'What Every Body Is Saying' by Joe Navarro (5 Stars)
Straightforward explanation of emotions expressed by different parts of the body.

'Emotions Revealed' by Paul Ekman (4 Stars)
Explains the reasons for why we become emotional and the ways to change this process at the beginning of the book, and then focuses on the emotions presented in the face only with plenty of graphical illustration. The scope is narrow, the content is in-depth and the flow logical, but the book does not contain the most practical knowledge that most readers tend to look for.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotions Revealed - A Genesis 7 May 2011
I believe this text is an excellent entry into the world of facial expression, human emotion and also a glimpse into demeanour, deception and how to improve your own emotion quotient.

My own work and interests, physical therapy and human movement, demands reflection on facial expression to improve clinical care and identify those aspects of examination which cause pain. The prototypical expressions seen in human emotions (to date, 7 core expressions - happy, sad, anger, fear, surprise, disgust and contempt) have also given rise to interest in pain expressions, shame, embarrassment and I am sure many more to follow.

This is not a research text - health professionals should also look at What The Face Reveals and Dr Ekman's website for the PDF's of his published work. I would strongly encourage that after reading this book you purchase and practice recognise facial expressions of human emotions (FACE vs FACS training). Dr David Matsumoto also has an excellent Humintell website and extensive publications too.

For non-health professionals however the insight gained herein can be truly life-changing; what are your anger triggers? Why do you feel sad? What can you do to become more receptive and change your "hot" spots or triggers? Do you really want to feel miserable at work with unchecked emotions? What were your early childhood experiences that drive your emotions?

All in all a brilliant introductory text for all but with one caveat; this knowledge should be supplemented with the online FACE training at Dr Ekmans website. Anyone, who given all his years of research, meets the Dalai Lama and re-writes this book before publication deserves our attention. For all his knowledge he is still prepared to review, re-write and reconsider his views late in life when most of us will have developed rigid beliefs and behaviours. This makes Dr Ekman, to me, a living legend.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great product,will use again
Published 18 days ago by xanmeo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good read
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. H. V. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking and a good introduction into this fascinating...
Insightful, thought provoking and a good introduction into this fascinating discipline of psychology.
Published 1 month ago by Chris Waddington
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy kindle edition, the photos which are ...
Do not buy kindle edition, the photos which are incredibly important to follow the authors insight are tiny, there simply is no way you can make such subtle facial expressions out. Read more
Published 1 month ago by A Cook
5.0 out of 5 stars Well ordered this book is good only read a few pages and daughter has...
Well ordered this book is good only read a few pages and daughter has borrowed it it's all about out emotions and how they change interesting reading
Published 2 months ago by jean garnham
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing
Enjoyed the read - Much of it may not be knew to those who study this field but well written and not boring like some of these books are.
Published 2 months ago by marka66
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotions Revealed
A great book. Dr Paul Ekman is a very talented man in his field. The best in fact. An inspiration
Published 4 months ago by Mr. Kevin Lowndes
5.0 out of 5 stars was a present
my son requested this book and he is 23, he loves it and quite often refers to it in conversation, he has yet to finish it but great to see him reading and enjoying it
Published 5 months ago by ShazzyShaz
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a quick read
Educational read - useful for degree study. Not a quick read but really an indepth study aid. Certainly not a book I would recommend for hints and tips!
Published 8 months ago by Aurelio & Michele Gonzalez
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
A bit boring start but very interesting inside. Lots of interesting psychological treatise. I'm new in this all and I've enjoyed reading this book
Published 9 months ago by Alexandra
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