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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

pamela meyer: how to spot a liar

in summary - we are all liars

lying is a cooperative act – its power emerges when somebody else believes it

henry oberlander said “everyone is willing to give you something for whatever it is they are hungry for” - so if you don’t want to be deceived know what it is you are hungry for

lying tries to connect our wishes about who we are to the reality of who we are

studies show:
-        we are lied to 10 to 200 times a day
-        that within the 1st 10 minutes of meeting a stranger they lie to us 3 times
-       we lie more to strangers than co-workers
-       extroverts lie more than introverts
-       men lie 8x more about themselves than they do others
-       women lie more to protect people
-       if you’re married you’ll lie to your spouse in 1 of 10 every interactions
-       if you’re unmarried that drops to 1 in 3

lying is old as breathing – it’s part of our culture, it has evolutionary value, the gorilla who was taught sign language – Koko – lied

babies will fake a cry, 2 years olds bluff, 5 year olds lie outright and manipulate by flattery, 9 year olds are masters of the cover up - by the time we enter college we lie to out mums in 1 out of 5 interactions

what can we do – most of us get to the truth 54% of the time - trained liespotters get to it 90%

verbal language of liars – formal and distancing language “that women”, qualifying language “to tell you the truth” or “in all candour”,  repeating the question, or too much detail

body language of liars – freeze upper bodies, looking in your eyes too much, smiling too much, (real smile is with mouth and eyes – crows feet not just mouth), duping delight (smile at deception they think they are getting away with)

hot spots – discrepancies between words and actions – so an honest person is going to be cooperative, enthusiastic, helpful in getting to the truth, willing to brainstorm, name suspects, provide details, infuriated throughout session (not just in flashes) if they sense they are wrongly accused

and if you ask them what should happen to those doing wrong they will be much more strict rather than lenient in the punishment they suggest

same conversation with someone deceptive – withdrawn, lower voice, look down, too much irrelevant detail, story in strict chronological order.  trained investigators – in subtle ways – ask for the story backwards – and watch which questions produce most deceptive tells (e.g. verbally say yes but imperceptible head shake no).  Murderers are known to leak sadness.  Contempt – you’ve been dismissed (marked by one lip corner pulled up)

Science also teaches us – liars shift their blink rate, point their feet toward the exit, use barrier objects between them and the interviewer, alter vocal tone – often lower.  
Remember these are behaviours and aren’t proof of deception – so when you see a number of these red flags …..then ask more questions with rapport rather than aggression

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