| Emotions determine the quality of our lives. They occur in every relationship we care aboutin the workplace, in our friendships, in dealings with family members, and in our most intimate relationships. They can save our lives, but they can also cause real damage. They may lead us to act in ways that we think are realistic and appropriate, but our emotions can also lead us to act in ways we regret terribly afterward.
If your boss were to criticize the report you thought she would praise, would you react with fear and become submissive rather than defend your work? Would that protect you from further harm, or might you have misunderstood what she was up to? Could you hide what you were feeling and "act professional"? Why would your boss smile when she started to talk? Could she be relishing the prospect of chewing you out, or could that be the smile of embarrassment? Could her smile have been meant to reassure you? Are all smiles the same?
Drawing on Ekman's fieldwork investigating universal facial expressions in the United States, Japan, Brazil, and Papua New Guinea his analysis of the prognosis of hospital patients based on their emotional attitude and dozens of other studies, Emotions Revealed explores the evolutionary and behavioral essences of anger, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt, and happiness. For each emotion, Ekman describes the universal themes that undergird our feelings, the automatic reactions that unfold within microseconds, and the actions that are actually under our control.
Ekman then takes us on a visual tour of each emotion's unique signals, exploring some of the most subtle and easy-to-miss expressions that can signal when a person is just beginning to feel an emotion or may be trying to suppress it. Learning to identify emotions in their early stages or when they are masked can improve our communication with people in a variety of situations both at home and at work- and help us to manage our own emotional responses.
PAUL EKMAN is a professor of psychology in the department of psychiatry at the University of California Medical School, San Francisco. An expert on expression, the physiology of emotion, and interpersonal deception, he has received many honors, most notably the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, and is the author or editor of thirteen previous books, including Telling Lies. He is a frequent consultant on emotional expression to government agencies such as the FBI, the CIA, and the ATF, to lawyers, judges, and police, and to corporations, including the animation studios Pixar and Industrial Light and Magic. He lives in northern California.