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How To Detect Lies
Signs of Deception:
Body Language of Lies:
• Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. Hand, arm and leg movement are toward their own body the liar takes up less space.
• A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact.
• Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear. Not likely to touch his chest/heart with an open hand.
Emotional Gestures & Contradiction
• Timing and duration of emotional gestures and emotions are off a normal pace. The display of emotion is delayed, stays longer it would naturally, then stops suddenly.
• Timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and words. Example: Someone says "I love it!" when receiving a gift, and then smile after making that statement, rather then at the same time the statement is made.
• Gestures/expressions don’t match the verbal statement, such as frowning when saying “I love you.”
• Expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe, )instead of the whole face. For example; when someone smiles naturally their whole face is involved: jaw/cheek movement, eyes and forehead push down, etc.
Interactions and Reactions
• A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive.
• A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may turn his head or body away.
• A liar might unconsciously place objects (book, coffee cup, etc.) between themselves and you.
Verbal Context and Content
• A liar will use your words to make answer a question. When asked, “Did you eat the last cookie?” The liar answers, “No, I did not eat the last cookie.”
•A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful: “ I didn't do it” instead of “I did not do it”
• Liars sometimes avoid "lying" by not making direct statements. They imply answers instead of denying something directly.
• The guilty person may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you... they are not comfortable with silence or pauses in the conversation.
• A liar may leave out pronouns and speak in a monotonous tone. When a truthful statement is made 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. In other
words, his sentences will likely be muddled rather than emphasized.
Other signs of a lie:
• If you believe someone is lying, then change subject of a conversation quickly, a liar follows along willingly and becomes more relaxed. The guilty wants the subject changed; an innocent person may be confused by the sudden change in topics and will want to back to the previous subject.
• Using humor or sarcasm to avoid a subject.
Eye Direction and Lying
How To Detect Lies
- Learn to recognize deflections. Usually when people are lying, they will tell stories that are true but are deliberately aimed at not answering the question you asked. If a person responds to the question "Did you ever hit your wife?" with an answer such as "I love my wife, why would I do that?", the suspect is technically telling a truth, but they are avoiding answering your original question, which usually means they're lying.
- Notice the behavior of other body parts. Watch their hands, arms and legs, which tend to be limited, stiff, and self-directed when the person is lying. Their hands may touch their face, ear, or the back of the neck. These are, however, a sign of nervousness, not a sign of deceit. They might not necessarily be nervous because they're lying.
- Look out for microexpressions. Microexpressions are facial expressions that flash on a person's face for a fraction of a second and reveal the person's true emotion underneath their facade. Some people may be naturally sensitive to them, but almost anybody can easily train to be able to detect microexpressions. Typically, in a person who is lying, their microexpression will exhibit the emotion of distress, characterized by the eyebrows being draw upwards towards the middle of the forehead (sometimes causing short lines to appear across the forehead skin).
- Check for sweating. People tend to sweat more when they lie. (However, some people may sweat a lot more during nervousness/shyness.)
- Mind exaggerated details. See if they are telling you too much, like "My mom is living in France, isn't it nice there? Don't you like the Eiffel tower? It's so clean there." Too many details may tip you off to their desperation to get you to believe them.
- Notice the person's eye movements. Contrary to popular belief, a liar does not always avoid eye contact. Humans naturally break eye contact and look at non-moving objects to help them focus and remember. Liars may deliberately make eye contact to seem more sincere.
- Be aware of their emotional responses
- Timing and duration tends to be off when someone is lying. Emotions can be delayed, remain longer than usual, then stop suddenly. Likewise, they might not match appropriately with verbal statements. And, as with smiling, facial expressions of a poor liar will be limited to the mouth area.
- Pay close attention to the person's reaction to your questions. A liar will often feel uncomfortable and turn their head or body away, or even subconsciously put an object between the two of you. Also, while an innocent person would go on the offensive (usually responding with anger, which will usually be revealed in a microexpression directly after you say you don't believe them), a guilty person will often go immediately on the defensive (usually by saying something to reassure their facts, such as deflections).
- Listen for a subtle delay in responses to questions. An honest answer comes quickly from memory. Lies require a quick mental review of what they have told others to avoid inconsistency and to make up new details as needed. There is, however, when people look up to remember things, it does not necessarily mean that they are lying.
- Be conscious of their usage of words. Verbal expression can give many clues as to whether a person is lying, such as:
- Using/repeating your own exact words when answering a question
- Not using contractions
- Avoiding direct statements or answers (deflections)
- Speaking excessively in an effort to convince
- Speaking in a monotonous tone
- Leaving out pronouns (he, she, it, etc.)
- Speaking in muddled sentences
- Using humor and sarcasm to avoid the subject
- Allow silence to enter the conversation.
- If they're lying, they will become uncomfortable if you stare at them for a while with a look of disbelief. If they're telling the truth, they will usually become angry or just frustrated (lips pressed together, brows down, upper eyelid tensed and pulled down to glare).
- Change the subject quickly. While an innocent person would be confused by the sudden shift in the conversation and may try to return to the previous subject, a liar will be relieved and welcome the change. You may see the person become more relaxed and less defensive.
- Watch his or her throat. A person may constantly be either trying to lubricate their throat when he/she lies by swallowing or clearing their throat to relieve the tension built up. A person's voice can also be a good lie indicator; they may suddenly start talking faster or slower than normal, or their tension may result in a higher-pitched speaking tone.
dump the misconceptions:
- People don't actually fidget and look away when they're lying. Even some police forces still have this in the manual even though it's just plain wrong.
- Even classic highly researched signs of lying are not that good. Less blinking, more pauses in talking, vocal tension, pupil dilation, chin raise and nervousness don't consistently (across different people) mean someone is lying.
- It may be particularly difficult to detect lies in close friends or partners as we have come to trust them and don't expect them to lie to us.
- Individual differences are key. Some people's natural behavior looks honest while others' natural behavior doesn't. This won't tell you whether each is lying. E.g. introverts or socially nervous people tend to look as though they're lying when they're not. The way to do it is using comparisons. It's possible to spot falsehoods when they are compared with truthful statements.
- Micro-expressions. Good lie detectors can pick up on tiny facial movements that give away lies. The problem is that they're 'micro' so they're difficult to detect.
- Vocal inflection can be vital. There's evidence it's easier to detect lies just from the voice. The eyes are relatively easy to control and it can be better if we can't see them.
- Rely on intuition. People may be better at detecting lies with their intuition. Implicit or broadly unconscious processes can be more effective than conscious directed thought.
- Lying is hard work. Lying can place high cognitive demands on an individual - putting more pressure on a suspected liar can help with detection.
Videos On Detecting Lies: