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article imageLiar, Liar: Getting the Truth from a Crook Is Tricky

By Carol Forsloff     Jan 30, 2009 in Lifestyle
During investigations of high profile cases like that of Casey Anthony, O.J. Simpson, or Phil Spector, there are those who are called into to examine them to determine whether they are lying or not.
Lots of people think that might be easy, but it isn’t. It turns out that detecting lies takes practice, training, being on the right team and knowing how to listen well. Lots of experts can’t do that. New research says it isn’t as easy as you think to detect deception and that even trained people have trouble at times.
College students, trained as judges, can’t tell who is lying any better than chance, it has been found. The difference found is less than 1%.
There are those people, however, who are exceptional in being able to detect lies. For example, professionals who have high stakes in the outcome of detecting lies, can do better than those who don’t. They do better than college students.
Some people are particularly good at telling lies, and many of them are in law enforcement and investigation, although not in high numbers. Some are simply gifted at doing it. Whether that is the result of training or practice over time, there have been studies that indicate that some professionals do very well determining who is lying and who isn’t.
So what about those who aren’t especially gifted at knowing who is lying? Are there some ways that can help catch a liar? Although some experts in deception have claimed they can tell people who are lying by their rapid blinking, deception puts an extra load on cognition to the extent that blinking actually decreases and the face becomes less, not more intense-appearing. In addition words more than non verbal cues have been shown to be helpful in detecting deception.
To catch a lie it’s good to have practice in how to do it, listen to what people say and just have a talent for it. It’s tricky too because some people are particularly good at lying and have had lots of practice doing it, according to the experts. For anyone detecting deception is difficult. It’s likely that getting people to tell the truth, like O.J. Simpson acquitted of killing his wife, or Casey Anthony, who has been accused of killing her child, takes a particular talent. On the other hand, because it is a “high stakes” consequence, it is easier to do than cases that don’t involve such complexities in the limelight.
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