Unmasking the Face
ISBN 1883536367 , 212 pages , 9.31 MB
A Must-Have Primer for Learning to Recognize Facial Expressions.
Ekman is a leading authority on the study of the facial expressions and
their relation to emotion, and this book is a methodical and thorough
(for the layperson, at least) introduction to the field, with special
focus on recognizing what he calls the six basic universally expressed
emotions: happiness, fear, anger, surprise, disgust/contempt, and
sadness. Ekman provides clear, well-detailed instructions for
recognizing each of these emotions, and the book includes plenty of
photos to illustrate the different facial contortions of each emotion.
The only complaint I would have is that I had to do a lot of page
flipping back and forth to read Ekman's remarks and subsequently refer
to the relevant picture. Perhaps a future edition could be better
formatted to make it easier for the reader to view the expression
alongside Ekman's comments.
In addition to writing about specific emotions, Ekman also covers
some fascinating related topics such as recognizing facial deceit and
discovering the patterns of one's own facial expressions, i.e., what
you're telling the world with your own face.
Ekman is an academic and his writing shows it; he's precise,
methodical, thorough, and careful in the extent of his claims. Readers
who are new to the subject of reading facial expressions but are
seriously committed to learning about it will find this an invaluable
(Ekman's later work, "Emotions Revealed," is also a great read and
contains much of the same information as "Unmasking the Face," although
I found the former to be lighter on technical information and practice
faces, and more focused on the larger reflections Ekman has made
looking back on his work over the last few decades. In other words,
both books are great, but "Unmasking the Face" is a bit more technical
and thorough, and therefore a better book to pick up for learning how
to recognize facial expressions.)