Setting the Stage

First off, I want to clear the air from the start and state that the decision to profile a video related to Justin Bieber was only done after of a request from another instructor in the company.  For professional reasons SSgt V and in an attempt to maintain your credibility after getting caught watching videos on Justin Bieber, your secret is safe with me.  Now we can take a look at the video.

In the first 30 seconds of the video clip, you can see distress displayed on her face multiple times.  This comes up when she mentions that Justin and her were just talking, when Justin asked her if she wanted to talk alone and when she said he was acting cute and gushy.  As described by Paul Ekman in his online training program (Micro Expression Training Tool – METT), the emotion of sadness (or distress) is displayed by the raising of the inner corners of the eyebrows.  If you want to recreate this emotion on your own face to know how it is displayed, try to draw your eyebrows inward and then draw them up, focusing on only moving the inside corner of the eyebrow (Facial Action Coding System Training Manual).

Those displays of emotion though do not allow me to make any conclusions that I would feel strongly enough about to raise concern.  There are a number of things that could be going through her mind that could cause those emotions to leak out.

The Slip

However, the segment that begins 32 seconds into the clip gives me reason to doubt her.  She is making a statement that she has provided evidence to her attorneys that will be shown in court to substantiate her claims and she states this in response to the reporter mentioning that some people will not believe her.  It is my opinion that she would make that statement confidently, as a means to refute the reporter’s claim.  While she may achieve that with her words (verbal communication), she also slips and displays two emotions (non-verbal communication) that draws my attention.

At 0:35 of the clip, she displays two micro expressions: lower-faced fear which morphs into distress.  Lower face fear can be seen as the lip corners are drawn backwards and distress is the raising of the inner eyebrow.  I don’t believe that those emotions FIT the baseline and I would classify them as an anomaly.  Add into the equation the fact that she also licks her lips a few seconds later, which is a biometric cue and an uncontrollable response caused by the autonomic nervous system, the cluster of deceptive clues is expanded.

At this point in the conversation, I would not call her out for lying.  Besides only seeing a portion of the interview and not knowing what is causing the emotion, it would likely cause her to become more defensive, avoid the issue or simply leave the interview.  As the interviewer who picks up on the micro-expression that is leaked, I would come back to the topic of her evidence against Justin Bieber later on, and see if I get a similar response.  If you can establish a pattern to her reactions relating to a specific topic, that can provide you with the information you need to uncover liars.

As mentioned before during posts related to identifying emotional kinesic slips, it takes practice to become an accurate reader of the emotion and make the decision if that emotion fits or doesn’t fit the baseline.  Watch the video multiple times so you can continue to build your file folders for identifying emotions.

Have a video you want us to take a look at?  Submit it and we will break it down.