Paul Ekman, PhD, was a Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California at San Francisco for 32 years. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Chicago and New York University. He received his Ph.D. from Adelphi University in 1958 after spending a year in clinical internship at the Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, part of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He served as chief psychologist in the U.S. Army, Fort Dix, New Jersey from 1958-1960. On discharge he returned to UCSF where he held a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship. He then initiated his research program supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the DOD, loosely affiliated with UCSF. In 1972 he was appointed Professor of Psychology at UCSF. His interests have focused on two separate but related topics. He originally focused on ‘non-verbal’ behavior, and by the mid-60’s concentrated on the expression and physiology of emotion. His second interest is interpersonal deception. His many honors have included the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association in 1991, and an honorary doctor of humane letters from the University of Chicago in 1994. Ekman retired from UCSF in 2004. He currently continues to consult on research and training related to emotion and deception.

Ekman previously served on the Mind & Life Board of Directors.


This profile was last updated on May 18, 2020

Mind & Life Connections


2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Master Lecture – Contemplative Inquiry and Science

B. Alan Wallace, Paul Ekman

Topics: Compassion & Empathy | Interconnection

Audio AvailableVideo Available

2014 International Symposium for Contemplative Studies Session

Concurrent Session 4 – Cultivating Emotional Balance (CEB): Training, Research, and Future

Eve Ekman, Paul Ekman, B. Alan Wallace

Topics: Contemplative Wisdom | Mindfulness


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