The popular psychological theory of lying can be formulated like this: a person lies when he looks away, wrings his hands and squirms in his chair. Completely wrong! Almost everyone, from Algeria to Argentina, from Germany to Pakistan, believes in this popular theory.



Investigators spent hundreds of hours watching videos of liars and honest people. In each viewing they looked for specific behaviors, such as a smile, a blink, a movement of the hand, to distinguish between the manifestations associated with lying or honesty. Each time they detected the target behavior, they pressed a button, and the computer recorded the response. Subsequent analyzes made it possible to compare the behaviors associated with lying or telling the truth down to  the smallest  details. The results are clear and  do not support  the tricks of that famous series "Lie to me."

Liars look you in the eye like honest people. They don't cross their arms over their chests, they don't sweat, they don't blink or wave their hands more often, and they don't shift in their chairs more than honest people. In fact, they show a very slight tendency towards immobility than honest people.

People are no better at detecting lies than  randomness  because they rely on popular theories that have nothing to do with deception. So scammers, impostors, and charlatans thrive these days. In evolutionary psychology they have been called  free-riders  ,  those individuals who  take advantage of resources  without giving anything back. In Homo sapiens tribes, they could be more easily identified as they are today due to physical proximity and small group sizes that allow for   mutual surveillance .

A man knows how to lie when he knows that no one can catch him, that only hypocrisy is the glue of society, reminds us of a classic. Even in modern societies, the speculator can easily become "invisible." However, the same man is more likely to behave honestly when  he knows that  he is being  watched by  other people. At the same time, we delude ourselves into thinking that we can spot the liar or the scammer.

So that we no longer deceive ourselves, I reveal the  secret  to discover the liar. First, lie detection begins with  focused attention  on (para)verbal language cues. The  most reliable signs  of a lie lie in the voice and the unconscious call to a particular language. So  not  in  body postures  and facial micro-expressions, as psychology fans instruct you through auristic workshops and videos.

Lying involves  a coordinated effort  in verbal expression. Anyone who can follow someone's statement carefully has a good chance of uncovering some clues. Hoping you mention me in your next akathist, I'll list these clues from a notable book (X-file):

  1. Gives too few key details or avoids them by being vague, non-specific, or diverting attention from the topic;
  2. Tends to pause in expression;
  3. Avoid self-reference, that is, distance yourself from the lying story by using an  impersonal expression  ;
  4. He tends to avoid describing his own feelings;
  5. Remember dubious details that honest people don't,  just  when you need to.
  6. Their stories seem less plausible, less logical, more ambivalent, and more inconsistent than those told by an honest person.
  7. Shows suspicious confidence in stories.

From this moment you are part of a  select club  . You could detect the lie in a simple conversation. You have  scientifically based knowledge  that is very useful when combined with a good sense of  observation  and some  insight  . You can have fun, when you have nothing better to do, watching the statements of some politicians (and not only ;)).

DePaulo, BM and Morris, WL (2004). Discerning Lies from Truths: Behavioral Cues for Deception and the Roundabout Path of Intuition. Deception Detection in Forensic Contexts  , 15-40.