Facial expressions of Emotional Intelligence

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Psychology ・APA ・3 Sources

Emotional Intelligence Facial Expressions


Wojciechowski, J., Stolarski, M., & Matthews, G. (2014). “Emotional intelligence and mismatching expressive and verbal messages: A contribution to detection of deception." Plos one, 9(3), e92570.



Emotional intelligence is the accurate assessment and expression of emotions and feelings within an individual and towards others and effective regulation of these emotions to enhance harmonious living with people. There is a strong relation between emotional intelligence and facial expressions and micro-expressions in detecting deception by a person (Hildebrandt et al. 2015). Facial emotions of an individual and verbal messages determine how effective deception can be detected in individuals and therefore any mismatch between the two aspects leads to wrong deception detection.

Item that stood out and why

One item that was of particular interest to me was the how emotional leakage, facial and verbal inconsistency contribute towards detection of deception by an individual. This item stood out because in the article because the relationship between the three aspects heavily contribute towards emotional intelligence and plays a key role in the detection of deception.

What the authors examined in research, Hypothesis and Theoretical Background

In the research study, Wojciechowski et al. (2014) sought to determine whether emotional intelligence of individuals forecasts the ability of a person in detecting verbal and emotional signals as expressed in the faces. The researchers had several hypotheses for the study. They hypothesized that there is a direct relationship between higher emotional intelligence (EI) and effective detection of inconsistency in verbal, emotional and facial inconsistency (Wojciechowski et al. 2014). The second hypothesis was that female will score higher than male in emotional intelligence. They also hypothesized that female were more efficient in inconsistency detection than males. The last hypothesis was that gender difference plays a significant role in efficient inconsistency detection because of the emotional intelligence. A sample of 210 subjects took part in the study with 50 percent being female and all the people had normal vision. Consent was given by the participants for the researchers to carry out the study.

The emotional intelligence of the participants was measured and the reasoning of the people based on facial expressions.

Reported findings

Research findings indicate that all the hypothesis of the study were confirmed. It was established that individuals who are more emotionally intelligent are efficient performers in the identification of inconsistencies in facial expressions, emotions and verbal communication (Wojciechowski et al. 2014). The study also established that females are more emotionally intelligent than males because they scored more than their male counterparts. Face decoding Test (FDT) revealed that there is a stronger correlation between female gender with the emotional intelligence and efficiency in detection of inconsistencies in facial expressions and emotional intelligence. Further analysis revealed that emotional intelligence in the form of emotion perception predicted inconsistency in facial expressions for basic emotions.

Limitations to internal and external validity

One limitation to internal validity is the fact that the study was carried out based on face stimulus which is artificial because facial expressions were generated by assessing various photos of individual faces. According to Wojciechowski et al. (2014), respondents were only viewing one person expressing various emotions. This might lead to biases of the study because the individual on the photos might only be adjusting his face for purposes of the experiment. A limitation to the external validity is the manner in which stimulus presentation sequence was done which separated facial expression and the speech of the object under study. Normally, the speech should accompany the face expression for the respondent to relate the two aspects (Hildebrandt et al. 2015).

How the study findings help in understanding of the topic

The findings of the research have equipped me with information about the relationship between emotional intelligence, facial and emotional expressions and deception detection in an individual. Before reading this research study, I thought that deception detection was totally independent of emotional intelligence and gender. However, findings in the study have revealed that indeed emotional intelligence plays a critical role in the identification of inconsistency in facial and emotional expressions which determines efficiency in deception detection. Furthermore, scientific research discovers fascinating facts about facial expression and deception. For instance, the podcast Catching liars analyzed an experiment of a snake that was playing dead, and Paul Ekman teaches Jad how to catch liars using the old fashioned way of observing the facial  ( Radiolab, n.d). From this study, Ekman asserts that when you know where to look on the face of an individual, the truth just comes out and you will be able to tell whether an individual is lying or not. In another podcast, People who lie, Ellen Horne, explores the story of a con woman and using a psychologist Yaling Yang great revelations are made. The findings are that pathological liars have an advantage over normal people because they can connect different ideas in their various brain parts.


The paper is a review of emotional intelligence and how the mismatch between facial and emotional expression and verbal expressions, contribute to deception detection. The article takes a keen interest in identifying variations in emotional intelligence based on gender and how the emotional intelligence relates to deception detection. The article resonates to the topic covered in class about how deception can be detected.



Hildebrandt, A., Sommer, W., Schacht, A., & Wilhelm, O. (2015). Perceiving and remembering emotional facial expressions—A basic facet of emotional intelligence. Intelligence, 50, 52-67.

Radiolab (n.d). Catching liars[Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://www.radiolab.org

Wojciechowski, J., Stolarski, M., & Matthews, G. (2014). Emotional intelligence and mismatching expressive and verbal messages: A contribution to detection of deception. Plos one, 9(3), e92570

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