Revisiting Genuine vs Fake Emotions

A week ago we asked readers to look at the two videos and weigh in with their thoughts as to who was telling the truth, who was lying and why.

Many people shared meaningful thoughts and opinions and almost everyone agreed that the first video of a woman pleading for her daughter’s return seem to be fabricated, while the second video seemed much more genuine.

In fact, the first video was of a Canadian women named Penny Boudreau who later admitted to strangling her own daughter and was sentenced to life in prison. Her daughter, who was only 12 years old, was a victim at her own mother’s hands. The video you saw below was taken before Penny had admitted to the murder.

What is particularly interesting is that throughout the interview, you see an expression more resembling fear than of sadness. Penny’s brows are not pulled up and together, but are raised creating horizontal lines across the forehead:

Compare Boudreau’s expression of emotion to that of the father of a missing boy in the video below. You can see genuine sadness throughout the press conference, as his brows are up and together:

In addition, in the Boudreau video, you see her fidgeting a lot and her eyes darting back and forth. She often puts her hands on her face and rubs her face, while the man in the second video doesn’t do that at all. Remember, that fidgeting and eye gaze on it’s own cannot be a reliable sign of lying unless compared to a baseline.

Perhaps Boudreau acts like this normally, but she seemed very tense and obviously fearful of something, perhaps of getting caught. Our hearts go out to the father in the second video. His emotions are raw, almost uncontrollable at times and palpable. You truly feel his pain when watching his speak about his missing son.

Missed watching the original videos? Take a look at the original post here

2 responses to “Revisiting Genuine vs Fake Emotions”

  1. Adam L says:

    This was a great exercise! I like having the comparison factor. I would love to see more videos like these.

  2. Kaja Greenberg says:

    I agree with Adam L. completely. I loved it.

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