By Ashley Mazerolle, Marketing
Many believe they are adept at spotting liars, simply because of the experience gained by watching movies or television programs. Others believe it’s simply because they have reliable intuition or gut reactions.
A study in 2006 (Bond and DePaulo) revealed that a typical interviewer can detect deception in another person at a rate of accuracy of about 54 percent. Given that, if you make decisions based on your personal lie detection skills, you will accurately discover the “liar” about half of the time. That accuracy is only slightly better than flipping a coin.
The same study also revealed that even with training, the rate of accuracy at spotting a liar does not increase much.
Behaviors of a Liar
If you’ve watched any popular TV crime show, you’re thinking ‘hey, I’m an expert on this stuff’, but I am here to tell you that not everything you see is accurate. (Crazy, right?) We’ve been taught that there are several behaviors, both verbal and non-verbal, that indicate whether someone is lying or not.
Liars avoid eye contact, look to the left and up, fold their arms in defense, and liars look so nervous that it’s obvious they’re lying. Guess what, truthful people get nervous and stressed out as well. Don’t rely on any of these as indicators of lying.
How do I know when someone is lying?
This is tricky, because there is not a single one-size-fits-all answer. You can, however, pay close attention to some verbal cues.
Liars tend to make negative statements, speaking negatively about those involved. They also distance themselves from the story or others involved. Liars give short responses to questions, mainly because they’ve memorized the ‘story’ in their mind and have very few details to relate. This is a great interrogation skill to sharpen. Listening to the story, how things are said, and listen to details that don’t connect.
Our company provides another tool to help eliminate liars, it’s called EyeDetect. This is an innovative lie detection solution that is currently being used throughout the world. For more details, check out what Roger Branche, a Doctoral candidate in International Psychology, thinks about EyeDetect.