Detecting Lies

Posted in Mind Control by Katin on May 18, 2008

From Miscellanea!

There are techniques that police and security experts use to help tell if someone is lying. This knowledge might also be useful to managers and employers, but it’s more important for you — the average person — to help prevent falling victim to frauds, scams, and other deceptions.

Be warned, however. Sometimes it’s better not to know these things. Once you become a good lie detector, you may be offended when it is painfully obvious that someone is lying to your face.

Signs of Deception

Body Language

A liar’s physical expression may be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are kept toward their own body. This way, the liar takes up less space.

A liar will usually avoid making direct eye contact.

Their hands might touch their face, throat, and mouth. They may also touch or scratch their nose or behind their ear. Liars are, however, not likely to touch their chest or heart with an open hand.

Emotional Gestures & Contradiction

The timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions might be off a normal pace. A display of emotion might be delayed, prolonged, and sudden.

The timing between emotional gesture or expression and speech might be off. For example, a liar would say “I love it!” when receiving a gift, then smile after making that statement, instead of at the same time.

Gestures and expressions might not match the verbal statment. One example would be frowning while saying “I love you.”

A liar’s expressions might be limited to mouth movements when faking emotions instead of using the entire face. When someone smiles naturally, their entire face is involved: eyes are narrowed and cheeks move, among other things.

Interactions and Reactions

A guilty person becomes defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.

A liar is usually uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and will often turn his or her head or body away.

Liars might unconsciously place objects (like a book or coffee mug) between themselves and you.

Verbal Context and Content

A liar will often use your own words to answer a question. When asked, “Did you take my stapler?” a liar may answer, “No, I did not take your stapler.”

A statement containing a contraction is more likely to be truthful, such as “I didn’t do it” as opposed to “I did not do it.”

Liars sometimes avoid directly lying by making indirect statements and implying answers instead of denying something directly.

A guilty person will often speak more than normal, adding unnecessary details to convince you. They are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.

A liar might leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a person makes a truthful statement, the pronoun is emphasized as much or more than the rest of the words in a statement.

Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off. A liar’s sentences will more than likely be muddled rather than spoken with conviction.

Other Signs of a Lie

If you believe someone is lying, then change the subject quickly. A liar will usually follow along willingly and become more relaxed, because the pressure is off. An innocent person, however, may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to return to the previous subject, to genuinely clear his or her name.

Liars may use humor or sarcasm to avoid a subject.

Eye Movement

Can the direction in which a person looks reveal whether or not they are lying? The answer is “kind of”. It isn’t as simple as CSI purports it to be. In the episode Justice is Served, a six-year-old girl is killed at a carnival. At one point, the mother looks in one direction while recalling a detail of the incident. Catherine Willows later tells Sara Sidle, quite simply, “When a person is remembering they look right, and when they’re creating they look left.” Later, this is used against the mother.

In reality, it would be foolish to make such a snap judgment without further investigation. Nonetheless, this technique does have some merit.

Visual Accessing Cues

The following cues are meant to be observed on a “normally organized” right-handed person, and the directions are from your own perspective while looking at the person.

Direction Indication Notes
Up + Left Visual Construction If you asked someone to image a blue elephant, this would be the direction their eyes moved while thinking about the question. They are “visually constructing” a blue elephant in their mind.
Up + Right Visual Recollection If you asked someone the color of the first house they lived in, this would be the direction their eyes moved while thinking about the question. They are “visually recalling” the color of their childhood home.
Left Auditory Construction If you asked someone to imagine what a dog’s voice would sound like if it could speak, this would be the direction their eyes moved while thinking about the question. They are “auditorally constructing” this sound they have never heard before.
Right Auditory Recollection If you asked someone to remember what their mother’s voice sounds like, this would be the direction their eyes moved while thinking about the question. They are “auditorally recalling” this sound.
Down + Left Feeling / Kinesthetic Recollection If you asked someone to remember the smell of a flower, this would be the direction their eyes moved while thinking about the question. They are recalling a smell, feeling, or taste.
Down + Right Internal Dialog This is the direction of someone’s eyes as they talk to themselves.

Visual Cues in Use

Let’s say your child asks you for a cookie and you ask them “What did your mother say?” As they reply, “Mom said…yes,” they look to the left. This would indicate a fabricated answer as their eyes indicate a constructed image or sound. Looking to the right would indicate a recollection and would therefore indicate telling the truth.

Other Visual Notes

Looking straight ahead or with an unfocused or unmoving stare into space is also considered a sign of visual recollection. Furthermore, a typical left-handed person would have the opposite meanings for the direction of their eyes.

Final Notes

With all signs of lying, you should first establish and understand a person’s base behavior before concluding they are lying.

Many critics believe the above to be a bunch of…well, crap. Try it out for yourself with people that you know well. Make up a list of questions like the above examples and give them to your friends and family — anyone would be your guinea pig. Observe their eye movements and body language.

You will find these techniques are more accurate than not.


One Response

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  1. Logan said, on June 20, 2008 at 2:38 am

    I would suggest hanging out with some local gamblers. A live poker game is a great training ground for ‘lie detection’ as well as ‘lie camoflauge’. Do not confuse this with the idiot box version. Texas holdem’ in between commercial breaks is absolutely not the same thing. As a matter of fact: the idiot box version is a lie. Detect that.

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