Faking It

In an article posted on Global Winnipeg, forensic psychologist, Leanne ten Brinke, analyzes news footage and interviews of individuals, both male and female, who are addressing the “disappearance” of their loved ones.

Are they telling the truth or did they have a part to play in the disappearance?  Well, ten Brinke aims to find out.

What is her method of detecting deception?  Facial leakage as she terms it, which is a micro facial expression of emotion.  Liars, she affirms, cannot always control what their body reveals especially in their facial expressions.

When we try to hide information or contradict a fact our mind knows to be true then it “leaks” via micro facial expressions despite an individual’s best attempts to display otherwise.

Ten Brinke claims 90% accuracy in separating liars from truth tellers and purports that facial expressions are a strong predictor of a guilty party.  We previously blogged about a study that ten Brinke co-authored, which involved spotting genuine and contrived displays of remorse.

She points out that detecting deception via facial clues is not always black and white.  They are just a clue to consider when deciding if a particular line of questioning should be explored further and not an outright omission of guilt.

“There are certain muscles in the face that we’re not really able to control,” the psychologist states.  She points out that appearing sad requires both the upper and lower face to change at the same time.  Some people can only fake emotion in the bottom half of their face while the top part (i.e. eyebrows) remains unchanged.  She also notes that when sadness is faked, oftentimes people look surprised in their upper face.

Here is the link to a video that delineates the psychologist’s methods in analyzing behavioral clues in detecting deception.

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