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  • How to Recognize the Signs That Someone Is Lying - Ways To Detect Lies.
  •                          Image Source: Gettyimage.com


    Edited By Fidelis Kene C. 

    ThrowbackTimes Nigeria hereby present to all our readers information on tips to easily detect lies. We all know that lying and deception are common human behaviors. Until relatively recently, there has been little actual research into just how often people lie. A 2004 Reader's Digest poll found that as many as 96% of people admit to lying at least sometimes.
    The reality is that most people will probably lie from time to time. Some of these lies are little white lies intended to protect someone else’s feelings (“No, that shirt does not make you look fat!”). In other cases, these lies can be much more serious (like lying on a resume) or even sinister (covering up a crime).​

    Note: Lying Can Be Hard to Detect

    People are surprisingly bad at detecting lies. One study, for example, found that people were only able to accurately detect lying 54% of the time in a lab setting—hardly impressive when factoring in a 50% detection rate by pure chance alone.

    Clearly, behavioral differences between honest and lying individuals are difficult to discriminate and measure. Researchers have attempted to uncover different ways of detecting lies. While there may not be a simple, tell-tale sign that someone is dishonest (like Pinocchio’s nose), researchers have found a few helpful indicators.​

    Like many things, though, detecting a lie often comes down to one thing which is "trusting your instincts". By knowing what signs might accurately detect a lie and learning how to heed your own gut reactions, you may be able to become better at spotting falsehoods.


    Signs of Lying:

    Psychologists have utilized research on body language and deception to help members of law enforcement distinguish between the truth and lies. Researchers at UCLA conducted studies on the subject in addition to analyzing 60 studies on deception in order to develop recommendations and training for law enforcement. The results of their research were published in the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry.


    Red Flags That Someone May Be Lying:

    A few of the potential red flags the researchers identified that might indicate that people are deceptive include:

    *Being vague; offering few details

    *Repeating questions before answering them

    *Speaking in sentence fragments

    *Failing to provide specific details when a story is challenged

    *Grooming behaviors such as playing with hair or pressing fingers to lips

    Lead researcher R. Edward Geiselman suggests that while detecting deception is never easy, quality training can improve a person's ability to detect lies:

    "Without training, many people think they can detect deception, but their perceptions are unrelated to their actual ability. Quick, inadequate training sessions lead people to over-analyze and to do worse than if they go with their gut reactions."


    Tips for Identifying Lying:

    If you suspect that someone might not be telling the truth, there are a few strategies you can use that might help distinguish fact from fiction.

    1. Don't Rely on Body Language Alone
    When it comes to detecting lies, people often focus on body language “tells,” or subtle physical and behavioral signs that reveal deception. While body language cues can sometimes hint at deception, research suggests that many expected behaviors are not always associated with lying.

    Researcher Howard Ehrlichman, a psychologist who has been studying eye movements since the 1970s, has found that eye movements do not signify lying at all. In fact, he suggests that shifting eyes mean that a person is thinking, or more precisely, that he or she is accessing their long-term memory.

    Other studies have shown that while individual signals and behaviors are useful indicators of deception, some of the ones most often linked to lying (such as eye movements) are among the worst predictors. So while body language can be a useful tool in the detection of lies, the key is to understand which signals to pay attention to.

    2. Focus On the Right Signals
    One meta-analysis found that while people do often rely on valid cues for detecting lies, the problem might lie with the weakness of these cues as deception indicators in the first place.


    Some of the most accurate deception cues that people do pay attention to include:

    a. Being vague: If the speaker seems to intentionally leave out important details, it might be because they are lying.

    b.  Vocal uncertainty: If the person seems unsure or insecure, they are more likely to be perceived as lying.

    c.  Indifference: Shrugging, lack of expression, and a bored posture can be signs of lying since the person is trying to avoid conveying emotions and possible tells.

    d.  Overthinking: If the individual seems to be thinking too hard to fill in the details of the story, it might be because they are deceiving you.

    The lesson here is that while body language may be helpful, it is important to pay attention to the right signals. However, some experts suggest that relying too heavily on certain signals may impair the ability to detect lies.

    3. Ask Them to Tell Their Story in Reverse
    Lie detection can be seen as a passive process. People may assume they can just observe the potential liar’s body language and facial expressions to spot obvious “tells.” In taking a more active approach to uncovering lies, you can yield better results.​

    Some research has suggested that asking people to report their stories in reverse order rather than chronological order can increase the accuracy of lie detection. Verbal and non-verbal cues that distinguish between lying and truth-telling may become more apparent as cognitive load increases.

    Lying is more mentally taxing than telling the truth. If you add even more cognitive complexity, behavioral cues may become more apparent.

    Not only is telling a lie more cognitively demanding, but liars typically exert much more mental energy toward monitoring their behaviors and evaluating the responses of others. They are concerned with their credibility and ensuring that other people believe their stories. All this takes a considerable amount of effort, so if you throw in a difficult task (like relating their story in reverse order), cracks in the story and other behavioral indicators might become easier to spot.

    In one study, 80 mock suspects either told the truth or lied about a staged event. Some of the individuals were asked to report their stories in reverse order while others simply told their stories in chronological order. The researchers found that the reverse order interviews revealed more behavioral clues to deception.

    In a second experiment, 55 police officers watched taped interviews from the first experiment and were asked to determine who was lying and who was not. The investigation revealed that law enforcement officers were better at detecting lies in the reverse order interviews than they were in the chronological interviews.

    4. Trust Your Instincts:
    Your immediate gut reactions might be more accurate than any conscious lie detection you might attempt. In one study, researchers had 72 participants watch videos of interviews with mock crime suspects. Some of these suspects had stolen a $100 bill from off a bookshelf while others had not, yet all of the suspects were told to tell the interviewer that they had not taken the money.

    Similar to previous studies, the participants were unable to consistently detect lies, only accurately identifying the liars 43% of the time and the truth-tellers 48% of the time.

    But the researchers also utilized implicit behavioral reaction time tests to assess the participants' more automatic and unconscious responses to the suspects. What they discovered was that the subjects were more likely to unconsciously associate words like "dishonest" and "deceitful" with the suspects that were actually lying. They were also more likely to implicitly associate words like "valid" and "honest" with the truth-tellers.

    The results suggest that people may have an unconscious, intuitive idea about whether someone is lying.
    So if our gut reactions might be more accurate, why are people not better at identifying dishonesty? Conscious responses might interfere with our automatic associations. Instead of relying on our instincts, people focus on the stereotypical behaviors that they often associate with lying such as fidgeting and lack of eye contact.  Overemphasizing behaviors that unreliably predict deceptions makes it more difficult to distinguish between truth and lies.

    5. Start by asking neutral questions.

    By asking someone basic, nonthreatening questions, you are able to observe a response baseline. Ask them about the weather, their plans for the weekend, or anything that would elicit a normal, comfortable response. When they respond, observe their body language and eye movement—you want to know how they act when they are telling the truth. Do they shift stance? Glance in one direction or the other? Or look you dead in the eye? Make sure you ask enough questions to observe a pattern.

    6.  Find the hot spot.

    Once you move from neutral territory to the “lie zone,” you should be able to observe a change in body language, facial expressions, eye movement, and sentence structure. Everyone will give different subconscious clues when telling a lie, which is why it’s important to observe a normal baseline prior to entering the lie zone.

    7. Watch body language.

    Liars often pull their body inward when lying to make themselves feel smaller and less noticeable. Many people will become squirmy and sometimes conceal their hands to subconsciously hide fidgety fingers. You might also observe shoulder shrugging.

    8. Observe micro-facial expressions.

    People will often give away a lie in their facial expression, but some of these facial expressions are subtle and difficult to spot. Some people will change their facial coloration to a slighter shade of pink, others will flare their nostrils slightly, bite their lip, perspire slightly, or blink rapidly. Each of these changes in facial expression signifies an increase in brain activity as lying begins.

    9. Listen to tone, cadence, and sentence structures.

    Often when a person is lying they will slightly change the tone and cadence of their speech. They might start speaking more quickly or slowly, and with either a higher or lower tone. Often, the sentences they use become more complex as their brain works on overdrive to keep up with their tale.

    10. Watch for when they stop talking about themselves.

    People who are lying will also sometimes start removing themselves from their story, and start directing the focus on other people. You will hear fewer me’s and I’s as liars try to psychologically distance themselves from the lie that they’re weaving.

    11.  Listen carefully.
    Statement analysis can help you discern when someone isn't telling the truth, Driver says. For instance, if you ask a yes or no question, the answer should actually contain the word yes or no. Watch out for a denial that doesn't include a no.
    Let's say you ask, "Have you ever stolen from an employer?" "If the answer is, 'I would never do that,' that could be a signal," Driver says. It's OK if the answer is "No, never," as long as the word no is in there, she adds. But if you think about it, "I would never do that" is a statement about the future, not an answer to your question about the past.

    12. Ask if they're telling the truth.
    "The last question you should ask is, 'Did you tell me the truth when you answered all these questions?'" Driver says. "We're looking for a yes or a no." Surprisingly, some people will admit to a small (or large!) lie at this point, and you can get at the truth
    If someone will be in a position of trust and you really need to know whether this person is truthful, you can follow up with a particularly powerful question: "Why should I believe you?"
    Here's the tricky part: Whatever answer you get first, don't accept it and ask a second time. "That didn't really answer my question--why should I believe you?"

    Listen carefully for the next answer. It should be short, simple, and to the point, something like, "Because I've told you the truth." But a liar will tend to overcompensate. This may take the form of getting angry and accusing you of something, such as not wanting to believe even though he or she is telling the truth, or saying he or she doesn't want to do work with you anyway. On the flip side, the liar may overcompensate with a lot of character references. "You can ask anyone I've ever worked for whether I'm honest or not!"

    Incidentally, Driver says, when you hear something like that, always take them up on it. "No one ever does," Driver says. "But you're likely to be surprised at what you find out."

    But wouldn’t you like to know what your boss is thinking? Wouldn’t you like to know whether someone at work is telling you the truth or not?. There may be a way to do that without eating some seeds on a fictional island.


    Listening for lies:

    Some of the verbal cues that someone is not being truthful include:

    a.  Failing to answer.  Dodging a direct answer to your question may indicate the person is trying to come up with a good answer because he or she doesn’t want to admit the truth.

    b.  Denial.  If you ask someone, “Did you do it?” and he or she answers with “I didn’t do it,”  “It was not me,” or “I didn’t do anything,” instead of a simple “no,” consider that significant.  Giving such answers are a way for the person to psychologically avoid an out-and-out lie.

    c.  Repeating the question. This helps buy the person time while he or she formulates a lie.

    d.  Attacking. “Why are you wasting my time with this stuff?” can be a way to attack the person asking questions when the liar feels backed into a corner. He or she may try to impeach your character or abilities.

    e.  Being too specific. Sometimes a liar may try to “technically” be correct while skirting the truth and provide too much information to create a “halo” effect as they try to manage your perception of them.

    f.  Being too polite. Complimenting you on a great tie or saying “yes, sir” in response to only one question may indicate the person is trying to get you to like him so that you’re more likely to believe him.

    g.  Bringing up religion. Psychologists call it “dressing up the lie” when someone being questioned starts talking about God. Look for phrases such as “I swear to God” or “As God is my witness,” which may indicate they’re “dressing up the lie.”

    Looking for lies (Non Verbal Cues):

    There are also nonverbal cues that can indicate someone is being less that truthful. It’s important, the authors note, to consider only those cues that come in direct response to your questions. For example:

    a.  Watch for disconnects. If the person nods affirmatively while responding “no” or shakes his head negatively while saying “yes” then that’s a disconnect, which can be an indication of deceptive behavior.

    b.  Hiding. There’s a natural inclination to cover a lie, so someone telling an untruth may cover her mouth or eyes.  The same clue can be given when the person simply shuts her eyes while answering, indicating on a subconscious level that she doesn’t want to see the reaction to her lie.

    c.  Touching the face. Licking lips and pulling on lips or ears can be an indication of a lie. Why? A person’s flight-or-fight response can kick in while lying, prompting blood to rush to certain areas and trigger a sensation of cold or itching.

    d.  Moving anchor points.  Anchor points are those areas that keep someone in a particular spot or position. A person standing uses feet as anchor points, while a person in a chair is using the buttocks as an anchor point. Once those anchor points start shifting, it can be a sign of deceptive behavior. The authors note they often place interviewees in a swivel chair because it can become a “behavioral amplifier” and make anchor point movements easier to spot.

    e. Grooming. A man might adjust his tie or a woman straighten her skirt or move her hair when responding to a question. They may even begin to tidy the area. Such gestures in response to a particular question can indicate deception.
    Finally, another best ways to make sure you’re getting all the information you need is to ask a catch-all question, such as “Is there anything else I need to know about this incident?”


    A word from ThrowbackTimes Nigeria.

    Detecting lies can be a bit mentally taxing. For one to detect lies, there are level of intelligence that should be apply to recognize lie ( verbal and nonverbal cues). Telling lies can be habitual and can cost the liar opportunities as trust had diminished. People tell lies mainly to cover up something or to appear more relevant. 

    Credit: verywellmind.com and Research works conducted by US CIA, FBI.