Genuine vs Fake Emotions

In order to know what deception looks like, it is equally as important to know what the truth looks like.

Take a look at the two videos below. In both videos, parents are making emotional pleas for their missing children to return safely. One is telling the truth and one is lying.

Can you figure out which one? How do their facial expressions differ? Is one showing something that the other is not?

Fri Feb 1, 2008: Search continues for missing girl from SouthShoreNow NEWS VIDEOS on Vimeo.

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11 responses to “Genuine vs Fake Emotions”

  1. c. chaske says:

    the second family, from kula lampur , I believe is telling the truth. The father has direct eye contact with those around, he speaks directly as to where the boy was last seen, he has an openness to him, that does not show he is hiding something. The woman in the 1st video is hiding behind a desk, and microphones, she gestures too much, avoiding eye contact with anyone. she rambles about how the family misses her, instead of concentrating on speaking to the abductors to release her daughter. .I find her hand in the facial are not to be that of stress for the disappearance of her daughter, but that of nervousness, of lying. basically, I believe in their over all demeanor and presentation, the woman knows something.

  2. Mike Lynes says:

    in the first video the woman shows more fear signs (raised and flattened eyebrows) than sadness signs. The second video shows intense sadness and stress while talking about the lost boy.
    IMHO the first video shows an insincere or possibly feigned emotion of sadness coupled with a genuine fear which is actively trying to be suppressed. IN the second video there is genuine grief and sadness.
    Bearing in mind that everyone is different and that people express emotion in different ways in different situations the videos are no conclusive – but they do point to several inconsistencies in the behavior of the woman in the first video that bear investigation.

  3. I don’t believe the woman! She has no sense of urgency compared to the guy. He points to the photos of his missing child of how he was dressed..etc. She just sits there with lost hope – huge red flag. And I can’t see any oblique eyebrow at key times when her sadness deepens, compared to the guy. She thanks the people, already? And she doesn’t address the abductors where the guy does address the abductors and he feels the agony and his face shows it.

  4. Reda C. says:

    The Indian guy , sadness is all over his face and he wasn’t trying to hide any emotions . In the other side , the woman is trying to hide her emotions to pacify her expressions. she avoided any eye contact with the crowd and kept touching her face ( liars do that a lot ), she didn’t talk to the kidnappers because she’s hiding something, and she doesn’t trust the community ( when she said , thanks for the support look at her lips that’s anger and mistrust ) .

  5. Lynda says:

    There were several key signs with the woman – the lack of eye contact, looking down and to the left quite often, the hand gestures on the face, the raised eyebrows and crunched forehead, the mouth movement (tightened jaw) and eyes which are more of fear than loss. Its difficult to tell from the video – but she appeared to want the viewers to see she was crying, yet she only rubbed the left side of her face – crossing her right arm over her body to do so.

  6. Gloria Federico says:

    I decided to just watch the videos without the sound so that I wouldn’t be influenced by the words and any possibly familiarity with the news stories.

    In the first video, the woman starts off partially covering her lover face, an indication that she doesn’t believe what she is saying. Her brow is never furrowed, and her face isn’t pulled downward in sorrow. Her very raised eyebrows and open eyes are more indicative of surprise: bet she never thought she’d end up under that much scrutiny and so widely broadcast. She is wiping away non-existent tears; her eyes are darting as if she’s in danger; and she even looks up high as if accessing the creative parts of her brain. Her hand gestures are trying to convince the audience of her sincerity, but all the gestures are unilateral–not truly sincere.

    The man in the second video has the expression of sorrow, as does the woman next to him. Brows are furrowed and faces are pulled downward. His chest rises in gasping breaths as he tries to suppress tears, and his emotions get more obvious rather than more controlled as he continues talking. He does not ever cover his face or show self-comforting or self-grooming gestures. He looks directly at the audience and his hand gestures show agitation.

    The man in the second video is trying to save his child. The woman in the first video is trying to save her ass.

  7. Helen Raw says:

    I believe the man to be telling the truth. The woman hid her face by stroking it and wiping away ‘tears’. This to me is a sign that she was more concerned about her appearance than what she was actually saying.

    The man on the other hand spoke erratically and you could clearly see he was trying hard to control his breathing.

  8. selo says:

    The woman in the first video is trying to hide her face with hand.
    She is a liar.

  9. anita says:

    the second video even though the man seemed frusterated and sad about his missing child he displayed signs of nervousness and lieing, eyes were darting every where and was constantly looking down, I don’t know if he was reading off a sheet but I assume he was which would explain his avoiding eye contact. but he did seem angry and most males (I know) replace sadness with anger. now the first video the woman was hiding her face at some points with her hands and was also avoiding eye contact. also in the first case the child just disappeared and the second they had a idea of who took the child so I believe the second video was real and the first was faked. oh and by the way im eleven years old so sorry for misspellings

  10. Steve says:

    In my estimation, the second video shows a man truly distraught from the disappearance of his child. He maintains his calm in describing the details that will help searchers in finding the child. He wants people to know what the details are so that the child can be found. When it comes to imagining the deeply personal situation of having his son returned to him healthy and well, he emotionally breaks. The most effective way I’ve found to read people’s level of truth in is to listen to their breath sounds. The tremor in the man’s voice is a dead giveaway to his level of distress. Breaking when he describes the return shows exactly what it would mean to have the child returned to him.

    The first video shows a woman who is lying. She describes her missing child and shows her emotion with the description. She’s remembering her child in the past tense and her breathing is showing sadness and anxiety. When it comes to thanking the community for the support, her breathing is fluid and easy. She appears happy that she’s getting the emotional support she seeks. She wants to be supported by someone else which to me means that she’s seeking a narcissistic supply from her community rather than the return of her missing child. The factual side of her being knows won’t happen because her child is unfortunately deceased (I’d surmise, by her own actions). The notes about hand placement above is an easily learned coping skill and can be faked. The breathing sounds can’t be faked as easily because they happen at the subconscious level. Breathing in genuine ways is possible in acting only when the actor is consciously remembering another instance where he felt a genuine emotion and then reliving that experience.

    People tell you everything if you’ll ignore the words and just listen to what they’re saying with their breath. Watching their body language only serves to confirm the hypothesis that is formed.

  11. Steve says:

    Two more characteristics to note in the first video are as follows:

    1. She is upset and emotional when describing how worried everybody else in the family is about her child. Her emotional projection here is outward here and I believe that it’s only because she knows they’re ultimately going be disappointed in the end.

    2. The mother in the first video is actually telling us how her daughter died. She touches her neck first and then pulls her hands downward when wiping the tears away ending the sequence with a curling of the hand. The at the end of her description and just before addressing the community, she places her extended fingers under her chin and pauses on her neck. I believe that she is subconsciously telling us her daughter was strangled.

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