Blake Eastman, a psychology professor at the City University of New York, is like a lie detector that’s always on. When he meets strangers, plays poker, sits in on corporate negotiations as a consultant, or turns on the TV and watches politicians speak, he analyzes dozens of nonverbal clues and subtle behaviors that betray an individual's true feelings and intentions. "I've always been a natural at it," he says. "It's part of who I am." But through his education and independent research he’s gotten better and can now pinpoint every indicator that shows a person is hiding their emotions or outright lying––from their microexpressions to their wooden nose growing 2 inches.
During interactive group classes Blake outfits his students' observational tool belts with the knowledge to read body language, detect lies, or improve their dating lives. Classes engage with multiple activities that range from video analysis to role-playing. As images of apologetic celebrities and athletes flash across the screen, Blake pinpoints telltale microexpressions that crawl across each liar's face. In the game "two truths and a lie," students take turns trying to deceive each other as the class hunts for the lie and its tells. The skills in each class lay a foundation for what Blake calls a lifelong effort to learn what someone is truly thinking or feeling.