Recent News From Our Research Division v.1

miximageRecent studies by Dr. David Matsumoto suggest that because microexpressions are signs of concealed emotions, the ability to read them may give individuals an edge in being emotionally sensitive, which in turn could benefit the development of rapport, trust, collegiality, providing the basis for better cooperation, negotiation, or sales.

Recently, Dr. Matsumoto along with Dr. Hyi-Sung Hwang conducted 2 studies: 1 that examined whether microexpression training can improve individuals’ ability to read microexpressions and 1 that examined whether this improved ability is sustained across time.

In addition, Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Hwang tested the possbility that improved microexpression training is associated with potential real world benefits.

The findings of the study were remarkable.

They provided evidence that the ability to read microexpresions can be trained. In addition, the results showed that such improvement may produce improvements in subsequent socially relevant behaviors.

The results of the studies also suggested that those who were trained with the microexpression training retained their knowledge far longer than those that did not have any training- up to 2 to 3 weeks. In addition, the training group was not only more accurate in detecting these emotions, but also quicker in their responses.

These studies were conducted among adults with a wide variety of ages and educational backgrounds which suggests the microexpression training is not dependent on any of these factors.

Finally, the participants of the study were not American, suggesting that training benefit may be generalizable beyond western samples.

Dr. Matsumoto suggests that the improved ability to see microexpressions should aid groups to “work collaboratively; colleagues to build better relationships, interpersonal trust, and rapport; bosses to communicate intent; and others to read and interpret intent.”

The ability to read microexpressions gives people “one more tool in their interpersonal toolkit, providing the basis for better cooperation, negotiation and sales.”

3 responses to “Recent News From Our Research Division v.1”

  1. Warren says:

    I did the free METT 1 training access code today. The pictures are very useful because I have lived in Japan for about ten years and there are a lot of asian people in this data set so this set was a valuable surprise for me. I did the poorest so-far with this set, a low 64% at test, which interests me. Perhaps I have relatively low adaptation to recognizing asian micro-expressions and perhaps this may have a bearing on international cultural misunderstanding/culture shock? What does David Matsumoto think of this hunch: I am sure I am gazing at faces in pretty much my set idiosyncratic way. I think I may be prioritizing my scan for my own “favored” emotions first and scan the face markers for those emotion first, missing the brief cues for the emotion that is really being displayed. In other words, my scan sequence is causing the problems. Furthermore, I wonder if psychotherapy can be shown to improve emotion recognition? If someone is suppressing grief, say, perhaps they may recognize sadness differently compared to points before and after psychotherapy?

  2. I’ve been a follower of both Dr. Matsumoto and Dr. Ekman for years. I’ve incorporated their deception detection research into the negotiation training programs I’ve delivered to my fortune 500 clients, with excellent results. The applicability to commercial negotiation is not only obvious, but is the difference between an average negotiator and a skilled negotiator. Thanks again Dr. Matsumoto for all of your support. For more info on deception detection and negotiation check out my blog at

  3. Warren, Thank you for your comment. I will put your question under the latest “Submit your question to Dr. Matsumoto” blog topic.

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