Lying Summed Up: Believe it or Not

Photo Courtesy Brian @Stockvault

Want a refresher course on deception?  Below Humintell sums up some of what science has found on lying, liars and microexpressions.

For a brief overview on some Deception and Microexpression Misconceptions read Humintell’s Misconception blogs Part 1 and Part 2 and our Eye Contact Myth blog.

Live Science recently pointed out that if accurate lie-detecting methods can be developed it would have a huge impact on a variety of settings and industries.  As mentioned in many previous blogs, the average person is no better than chance at spotting lies despite what they may think.

Charles Bond and Bella DePaulo’s study, in 2006, found that untrained observers are correct only 54 percent of the time when trying to distinguish between true and false statements.

A 2008 study led by Aldert Vrij, a professor of applied social psychology at the University of Portsmouth in the United Kingdom, found similar results with regards to accuracy rates in distinguishing deception.  (to read more studies on lying from Vrij click here).

Other research has noted that even though untrained individuals are able to spot deception only about 50% of the time, we tend to tell lies (small or large) in bout 25% of our social interactions.

Charles Honts, a professor of psychology at Boise State University in Idaho, points out that across societies, there are false beliefs that certain behavioral clues can indicate someone is lying.  For instance, many people think liars shy away from making eye contact, blink a lot or fidget as they speak.

Lying is an emotionally exhausting and cognitively demanding task,” notes Dr.  David Matsumoto, a psychologist at San Francisco State University and  Humintell’s director, in an  Inside Science article, “When lies are more complicated it is more difficult to lie.

Recent studies on lying and deception detection have taken a different routes to understanding the art of lying.  Rather than simply observing someone’s behavior, which can introduce all kinds of biases, psychologists and researchers are looking at whether certain interview methods can prompt liars to respond in ways that reveal their deception.

In a similar article suggests a new technique in finding lies quickly in the important time just after an incident such as a bombing, or shooting.


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