Deception

 

Lie detection is a useful skill to have, not only in the processes of 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.

How lie detection works

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” – whereby you could become suspicious of a lie.

  • 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”.

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