Some of the most common questions we are asked

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between Paul Ekman training compared to other offerings?


Our approach is unique in that all our work is rooted in firm science and it is the only training available outside of the PEG llc organisation that is endorsed by Dr Paul Ekman. You will know if it is Paul Ekman approved as you will see the Paul Ekman logo. Some providers are geared to interrogation – we are different in that we do not encourage a confession, but instead try to gain enough trust by understanding the subject’s emotional state so that they will feel comfortable enough to talk to us. Our research shows the more they talk the more likely you can correctly evaluate credibility. We provide training in reading micro expressions and subtle expressions to assist in determining whether a person is giving you truthful or false information. We recommend you read both of Dr. Ekman’s books: Telling Lies (2009) and Emotions Revealed (2009) for additional information.

Q. Is the training available all over the world?


At this time, all of our training programmes are exclusively through our Licensed Delivery Centres, Approved PEI Associates and Approved PEI Trainers. See our Partners section for more information.

Q. What education and schools do you recommend for studying this field?


Due to high demand, we have set up a network of Licensed Delivery Centres, Associates, and Trainers so that we can give people and organizations direct access to the areas of emotional skills and deception. EIA Group (The sister company of Paul Ekman International) has also created a Diploma Program related to this field and have partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to offer education all the way up to Master Degree in Communication, Behavior and Credibility Analysis. If interested you can find out more about the Diploma and Master Degree pathways here.  

Q. Can I train to be a trainer?


Only top class experienced/qualified trainers will be accepted onto the Paul Ekman International ‘Train the Trainer’ programs.

Most applicants have significant experience in the emotional/deception fields, many have a solid social science background and must have already attended the Evaluating Truthfulness and Credibility and the Emotional Skills and Competencies courses so they have experienced the courses as delegates. 

Newly trained trainers will go through an extensive development process before they become an Approved Trainer. We are happy to help you if you are currently working on a career that is going in this direction. Contact us for such help.

Q. How true/real is the science in “Lie to Me”?


The Lie to Me TV series was inspired by the work of Dr. Paul Ekman and his reputation as the world best lie catcher.  Dr. Ekman played a key role in the production of the show and consulted the writers and actors on how best to portray the science of non-verbal behavior and deception.  This resulted in much of what you see on Lie to Me (particularly in Season’s 1 and 2) being heavily rooted in science. 

However, the show was meant for entertainment first, science second. Therefore to correct any of the creative freedom exercised by the writers, Dr. Ekman kept an episode by episode Blog where he would differentiate the facts from the myths. 

You can find these Blog’s here 

Q. How do I become a lie detector like Dr. Cal Lightman on “Lie to Me”?


The industry in new though the Paul Ekman International courses, that now leads into a Post-Graduate Diploma and a Masters Degree in Communications, Behaviour and Credibility Analysis (directed by our sister company EIA Group)- creating a pathway for those interested in this field.

Once you have acquired this skill it can be used in so many different contexts such as the obvious law/security enforcement, but also in many other areas. Most researchers in this field of facial expressions study some area of psychology, either cultural, behavioral or social. Also teachers and trainers/coaches to be able to “read” that their students are in fact understanding the sessions. Doctors who need to know that their patients are telling them the truth so that they are able to diagnose quickly and safely. Sales and management personnel who need to be sensitive to their client and employee needs.

Q. My child has Aspergers Syndrome – What training do you recommend?


We have had many families ask this question-there is certainly some research going on at this time.
Dr. Ekman recommends the SETT training at a slow speed.

Q. What is Facial Action Coding System (FACS)?


The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is an internationally recognised, sophisticated research tool that precisely measures the entire spectrum of human facial expressions. FACS has elucidated the physiological presence of emotion with very high levels of reliability. FACS has played a particularly important role in predicting patterns related to deception at about 80% accuracy.

Created in the 1970s by psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace V. Friesen FACS provides a comprehensive taxonomy of human facial expressions. FACS remains the most widely used and acclaimed method for coding the minutest movements of the human face.

The system dissects observed expressions by determining how facial muscle contractions alter appearance. Each movement is categorised into specific Action Units (AUs), which represent the contraction or relaxation of one or more muscles. All facial expressions can be decomposed into their constituent AUs and described by duration, intensity, and asymmetry. Trained experts examine patterns in the changing nature of facial appearance including: movement, changes in shape and location of the features, and the gathering, pouching, bulging and wrinkling of the skin. Understanding the coordination between action units and certain expressions illuminates the implications of human body language and non verbal behaviour.

If your question is not here please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer it.

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