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F.A.C.E it (Micro-Expressions)

An Amnesty training program on micro-expressions via online software which incorporates hostage scenarios. A micro-expression is a brief, involuntary facial expression shown on the face of humans according to emotions experienced. They usually occur in high-stakes situations, where people have something to lose or gain. Unlike regular facial expressions, it is difficult to fake micro-expressions. Micro-expressions express the seven universal emotions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt. (Wikipedia)

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Written by DeletedUser

Predicting and analyzing how the captors are feeling in the hostage situation can help the detainee to react according to the situation. Foreseeing an opportunity of weakness/doubt on the side of the captors can lead to grounds for negotiation on being released.

There already exists training software and extensive research done in the field of micro-expressions. Paul Ekman one of the prominent psychologists of the today has developed the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) to classify every human facial expression and has also created an interactive training called (F.A.C.E training).

F.A.C.E training together with training on cooperation and negotiation would be able to give the detainees the upper hand on evaluating the situation they are faced with and see loop holes of weakness on the captors’ side.  

What kind of resources are needed to get this idea off the ground and/or support it over time?

There already exists Iphone/Ipad Apps on Micro-expression training. To implement this training program there will not be a lot of infrastructure cost. One must work with specialized psychologists in areas of Mirco-expressions and those trained to handle hostage situations, along with a software development team to create a specified software for the cause.

My Virtual Team

Dr. Paul Ekman and my favorite TV show (Lie to me)

How could this idea also be adapted to work in low-tech situations?

The training can be done at base camp so that the laptops and other devices would be able function. Once a individual is detained he must rely on his training, common knowledge and survival instincts and use analysis and negotiation to handle the situation .


Join the conversation:

Photo of Alix Gerber

This micro-expressions training could be helpful within other training concepts like the Vending Machine / Info Hub ( or WikiAm ( Very cool!

Photo of Valerie Provenza

I really appreciate this idea because I am also I big fan of the work of Paul Ekman and the series Lie To Me. I think training to detect mirco expressions can be used as a helpful tool to give insight to the truth in questionable situations. This new technology needs to be explored and put into effect and this is a great way to start doing so.

Photo of DeletedUser


Hi Meena, thank you for your feedback. Yes I do agree that tracking devices are very risky hence I have changed it Micro-Expression Training. This topic is an upcoming phenomena and I am sure if incorporated with the right training tools will help out detainees immensely during a hostage situation.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Way to go on your agile ideating, Melanie!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Interesting idea, Melanie! You might like to check out our Tips on Concepting As you'll see there, it's good to keep in mind that tracking devices could lead to both positive and negative impacts for a detainee. Even if they are concealed as in your idea, we need to consider the consequences if information gets into the wrong hands or potential for punishment if they are discovered. Of course you're always welcome to refresh your concept with any additional insights or thoughts by using the Update Entry button on the right of your post.