Facial Coding (FACS)

Facial Coding (FACS)

The Facial Action Coding System (FACS) is a tool, which has been globally recognized for accurate measurement of complete gamut of facial expressions. Swedish anatomist Carl-Herman Hjortsjo had originally developed the system and later psychologists Paul Ekman and Wallace V. Friesen adopted and developed it further in the 1970’s.

Source: https://www.neurolize.com/EN/Devices/FacialCoding

Uses of FACS:

  1. The most distinguished use or application of the FACS has been the study of two different smiles, genuine and insincere smile.The genuine smile, also known as the “Duchenne” which involves the zygomatic major and orbicularis oculi muscle to contract. Whereas the insincere smile involves only the zygomatic muscle contraction.
  2. FACS is also being widely used as a research tool to understand and measure various new patterns of the facial movement and their correlation to the human emotional behavior.
  3. Another use of FACS has been proposed in the medical field to understand the exploration of depression and the amount of pain experienced by an individual who is inept to express verbally.

Advantages of FACS:

  1. The strength of the emotion exhibited can be recorded with the FACS, as it is classified on a scale of intensity. The information that is collected propels researchers to understand the intensity and types of emotions experienced, while responding to particular stimuli.
  2. Because the model is discreet, FACS can be used with the respondents being aware that their facial emotions being analyzed.
  3. FACS in itself is a complete and an unprejudiced system, thus can be applied to observe emotion specific behavior
  4. Medical researches have found FACS to be helpful in discovering various patterns related to deception, for differentiating between suicidal and non suicidal patients, understanding depression and many psycho-pathological conditions.

SOURCE: http://sites.tufts.edu/emotiononthebrain/2014/12/08/am-i-in-trouble-interpreting-facial-expressions/


Emotional FACS uses the following codes:

Why to use FACS?SOURCE: https://imotions.com/blog/facial-action-coding-system/

Emotions are not restricted by age, gender, race, ethnicity or religion. For effective communication, the aptitude to comprehend emotional behavior and read facial changes is critical. Experts in the field can aid in providing insights in business transactions, interview being conducted, interrogations and law enforcement and even in healthcare systems.


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_Action_Coding_System
  2. https://www.eiagroup.com/faq/what-is-facial-action-coding-system-facs/
  3. https://imotions.com/blog/facial-action-coding-system/