Research carried out by a Harvard psychologist elaborates on what signs to pick up signs when you suspect you are being lied to.
Well, there are the obvious ones, like the lack of eye contact, hesitant replies and the abnormal flushed expression are some of the signs to spot a liar, and however, there are a few subtle ones that have been revealed by a skilled psychologist.
Amy Cuddy, a Harvard social psychologist elaborates in her new book “Presence”, about the science behind spotting a person trying to fib or deceive you.
She suggests that there are often many discrepancies between what a liar is saying and actually doing, basically, words and body language don’t seem to fit.
“Lying is hard work,” she explains in her book [an extract was published this week in the Business Insider].
She continues: “We're telling one story while suppressing another, and if that's not complicated enough, most of us are experiencing psychological guilt about doing this, which we're also trying suppress. We just don't have the brainpower to manage it all without letting something go - without 'leaking’.”
Cuddy adds that these “leaks” are noticeable when a person portrays conflicting emotions, a mix of the tone in which one speaks with a completely different facial expression. For instance, someone speaks to you with a happy tone, but wears an angry facial expression.
“It’s about how well or poorly our multiple channels of communication — facial expressions, posture, movement, vocal qualities, speech – co-operate,” she adds.
She argues the majority of us out there are not too good at spotting a liar your attention is diverted to the words coming out of their mouth.
“When we’re consciously looking for signs of deception or truth, we pay too much attention to words and not enough to the nonverbal gestalt of what’s going on,” the professor adds. “Truth reveals itself more clearly through actions than it does through our words.
“People are poor lie detectors,” says Dr Rada Mihalcea, professor of computer science and engineering at the university. "This isn't the kind of task we're naturally good at.
“There are clues that humans give naturally when they are being deceptive, but we're not paying close enough attention to pick them up. We're not counting how many times a person says 'I' or looks up. We're focusing on a higher level of communication.”