How To Spot A Liar

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The average person lies twice a day (Lilienfeld). Most of the time, the lies go without question from others. But sometimes, we wonder if we are being lied to. To determine this, we rely on unconscious, nonverbal cues that a person gives off. Most people are only 55% right in detecting a lie, so here are a few ways to enhance a person's ability to detect a lie (Lilienfeld).

According to ex-FBI agent Bill Brown, "The eyes are a window to the soul." By this, he means that the eyes hold the key in displaying a lie. For example, if someone looks up and to the right before responding to a question, he/she is probably about to lie. This is because he/she is tapping into the part of the brain that visually pictures something that has never happened. If someone looks up and to the left, it means he/she is probably telling the truth. This is because he/she is remembering something that has actually happened. Also, if someone continuously shifts their eyes or intensely stares or avoids eye contact with the person he/she is responding to, chances are the person is lying (Dr. Phil).

However, there are more ways to tell if someone is lying. Body language is a huge giveaway. For example, liars tend to rub their neck, scratch their head or nose, tap their fingers, look at their watch, position something between them and the person they are talking to, lean back in their chair, sit at an angle to the person they are talking to, keep their arms crossed, and keep their hands tightly folded in their lap (Dr. Phil, Deborah King & Bill Brown).

With this newfound knowledge of detecting a lie, can you tell which person is lying?
Hopefully you chose the second picture as the liar.

This topic is really interesting, because lying is such a common occurrence in our society. If everyone lies at least two times per day, that's a lot of lies accumulated in a lifetime. I've been in situations where I could sense someone was not telling the truth, but didn't know for sure because I didn't know the common facial or body traits of a liar. That's why I got hooked on the show "Lie to Me." I was fascinated that Dr. Cal Lightman could tell whether someone was lying just by studying their facial movements. From the show, I learned a few common characteristics a liar does when he/she is telling a lie. It was fun to occasionally use that knowledge in my everyday life when talking to people at school or at home.

Sources: (Dr. Phil) (Deborah King)
Youtube video (Bill Brown)
"Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding" by Lilienfeld (Lilienfeld)

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This page contains a single entry by majdx003 published on November 6, 2011 9:14 PM.

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