joh09273: November 2011 Archives

Lying and Lie Detection

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An interesting topic that we have learned about to me was lie detection. An important fact to know is that humans are not a good way to determine if someone is lying or not. Humans are right about someone lying only 55% of the time and usually by chance; very few people can exceed 70%. Police and other occupations that involved being good at identifying lies say that verbal cues can be more helpful than nonverbal cues. For example, usually if someone's voice goes up higher while talking, there is a greater chance that what they're saying is a lie. Another verbal cue to look for is a statement that has few details and words such as, "I'm not sure but..". We learned about two different kinds of lie detectors, one of them being the Polygraph test. A polygraph test relies on what are called Pinnochio responses; supposedly perfect physiological or behavioral indicators of lying and claims to be accurate about 98% of the time. However, many believe that the test can confuse arousal with guilt and therefore cause the innocent to look guilty. The second test is the guilty knowledge test. This relies on the premise that criminals harbor concealed knowledge about the crime that innocent people don't. For example if there is a fork involved in the crime and a fork is brought up, the criminal is more likely to have a physiological response to the word fork than innocent people. I find this topic of discussion interesting because I would like to be a lawyer when I grow up and it's very important to be able to tell if people in court are lying or not. Many shows that I watch demonstrate how to tell if someone is lying. I believe that the more you know, the more likely you can tell if someone's lying to you or not. A perfect example of this takes place in one of my favorite movies, Legally Blonde. Elle Woods knew the witness was lying because she knew the rules about getting a perm. Knowing this piece of information helped her save the innocent and put the guilty in jail. Here's a clip of that scene below.

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