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4.4 out of 5 stars57
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 8 March 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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on 6 September 2010
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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on 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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on 19 July 2014
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. It's a real shame as it's a very readable and enlightening book but looking at faces which are sometimes just 1cm big is making this one of my more frustrating reads.
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on 19 July 2010
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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on 1 December 2014
I really enjoy Paul Ekman's research, I learned a lot about human expression and emotions. I have to agree with others who say do not buy the Kindle version - I found the badly digitised images completely useless.
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on 20 July 2012
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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on 22 June 2005
An interesting addition to the growing modern catalogue of work on the emotions. An interesting and thorough book but perhaps a little repetitive. It feels as though it could have been done in half the pages but then he couldn't have warranted his hardback.
The use of pictures though is an important addition to emotion research, and helps to illustrate the idea of evolutionary, homologous, instincts.
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on 11 June 2003
Can't recommend the book enough - everyone should own a copy. I learnt so much about myself and why I mishandle certain situations - brilliant.
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on 5 April 2010
For a book on understanding emotions, especially micro-expressions, you'd think it would be packed with pictures. - Well, it isn't. They are sparsely grouped throughout the book. It's almost as if the author wants you to be left needing more... from his online learning site perhaps?
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