It is an act to trick someone to hide the truth by making a false statement or lying which causes false belief.
Human lie detection and body language
Lie detection is a useful skill to have, not only in the processes of an employment interview, criminal interrogation and other “high stakes” situations but also in any interpersonal communication.
There is a caveat with learning about lie detection – and that is this: knowing too much can become a hindrance. People regularly lie, more than they would like to admit to. If you grew suspicious of every “white lie” that was told, you might not do yourself any favours at all.
Lie detection psychology
How to detect a lie?
Lie detection techniques involve lie detection in body language. A person communicates both consciously and subconsciously. The subconscious element includes body language, voice tone, pitch, rhythm, choice of words, thought patterns (topics alluded to or evaded for example), facial expression, breathing, heart rate, blush response, and many more.
When lying, a person is able to control the conscious element – but not the subconscious. This leads to three areas of “leakage” and these are the methods on ‘How to detect lies’–
- Incongruence. E.g. the subject is saying something positively, whilst the subconscious is shaking the head side to side, as if to say “no”.
- Stress – the subject’s awareness of being exposed or caught out leads to increased stress, which actually amplifies the subconscious element even more.
- A break in the pattern. E.g. suddenly talking about something irrelevant at length, indicates “something’s up”
- A single “tell” does not suggest anything in isolation – the skill is to spot “clusters” of tells that sway the probability towards lying.
- Believing someone to be lying does not mean they are – it’s vastly important that you don’t allow your suspicions to lead to unfair judgment or accusations. The goal is to steer towards confession of the truth, not make an accusation that can’t be proved.
- Emotional states are consistent across people and cultures, and facial muscles work in very consistent ways to express those emotions. Learning to accurately recognize emotional expressions is a strong foundation for lie detection. E.g. distinguishing between anger and fear, contempt and disgust, sadness and shame.
- Emotions have an almost automatic tendency to be expressed – if only for a microsecond. These “micro expressions” are crucial for recognizing emotions, but take time and practice to spot accurately.
- It is important to establish a baseline of normal behavior before being able to recognize any breaks in the pattern, or stress responses.
Stress does not automatically mean lying – it’s more important to understand the underlying emotion before the intent or motive. A person may be nervous about a topic, embarrassed, pressed for time, or frustrated with your questions if not handled properly!
1. Body Language Mastery: 4 Books in 1
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2. Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception
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