People detecting lies

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I think that many people often maybe even everyday can think of a time when they thought that they know when someone is lying to them. Although as shown by Ekman there is very little or no correlation between somebody's confidence in there ability to detect lies and their accuracy. Which really is surprising because plenty of us have been in the position where we were one hundred percent sure that we could tell that someone is lying only to be proved wrong at a later point. As stated in the text book these feelings of confidence in detecting a lie could really become a problem in court case. Where one juror may feel very strongly that someone is lying when giving an oath. It could or often does send people into incarceration wrongly. This often can create a problem when it is involved in a court case, if a juror decides that the a witness is lying and are very confident of it they very well could be wrong and have a part in incarcerating an innocent person. Most likely most of us thinking someone is lying without a doubt is not as major of a deal as sending someone into jail. Next time you decide that someone is lying remember that you might not be right, and hopefully that helps you not be embarrassed by being wrong or even worse.


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I hadn't thought of jurors being so confident in a person lying in an oath before, but it is an interesting notion. Of course the current legal system isn't flawless, as noted by some infamous cases in which innocent people are held in jail for prolonged periods; that being said, have you thought of a way to improve the legal system so as to minimize juror mistakes?

That's a really good point. It is probably best to just trust what people tell you since it's difficult to know for sure someone is lying. If they are lying, you will probably find out eventually anyway. Lie detecting is much more serious in the court. Hopefully better ways of lie detecting continue to be discovered to prevent people from being falsely convicted or set free when guilty.

I thought it was interesting that some people are put in jail because the jury may believe they are lying under oath, when in fact they may be telling the truth after all. I had never thought of this before. It is true that pretty much everyone can tell you that at some point or the other they thought someone was lying when they really weren't. Good post!

I think it is much more difficult to tell if a witness is lying or not during a court case setting then just talking to them normally. Gestures and facial expressions could easily convince a person into thinking a witness is lying, when really they are just nervous from all the interrogation. There have been many times where I've thought my friends were lying, but they were actually telling the truth the entire time. As you suggested above, based on failures from past court cases, jurors need to avoid making uncertain decisions that could potentially place an innocent person into prison.

I think that this is a very good point. I have three younger siblings, and being the older sister I always felt like I could be bossy and in charge. So when they said something that I believed was a lie I would say no and tell my mom that my sister or brother had lied. Many times I was the one who was wrong though. Obviously growing up taught me not to assume but the Ekman's study also shows that it is very difficult to detect lies. Next time I know to be more careful.

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This page contains a single entry by carl4016 published on April 1, 2012 8:40 PM.

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