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How Can You Tell if Someone is Lying?

How Can You Tell if Someone is Lying?

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Published by Michael J. Franklin
Six ways to detect a liar or tell if someone is being untruthful.
Six ways to detect a liar or tell if someone is being untruthful.

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: Michael J. Franklin on May 27, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/22/2011

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Michael J. Franklin
How can you tell if someone is lying?
How can you tell if someone isn’t telling you the truth?Today there seems to be no shortage of incredibly skilled liars.There aren’t only the Bernie Madoffs, Ulrich Englers andJeffrey Skillings of the planet. Rather under mostcircumstances, we don’t know whether people are right orwrong. We all have a little larceny in us and tend to tell those"little white lies".According to a University of Virginia study conducted in1996: Lying is part of the human condition. Over the courseof one week 147 participants, aged 18 to 71, were asked torecord in their diaries all of their social interactions and all of the lies they told. On average, each person lied just over 10times and only seven people claimed to have beencompletely honest.
 
Michael J. Franklin
Let‘s look at it this way, most of the time we're just trying tobe thoughtful. If your wife, girlfriend or partner asks if youenjoyed a dinner she cooked, most husbands, boyfriends andpartners who know what's good for them…say, "It was verygood!" It’s these "false positive" lies that are delivered 10 to20 times more often than the truth that the meal sucked.Another study indicted that men and women tend to lie withequal frequency, though women are more likely to lie to makeother people feel a good, while men tend to lie to makethemselves look better.We lie less frequently to the people that are closest to us.So, the burning question is:
How to know when someone's trying to sell you a can of freshmountain air?
Traditional polygraph tests have been around since the early 1900s. The technique uses sensors todetect fluctuations in blood pressure, pulse, respiration in response to direct questions. There arefundamentally two problems with polygraphs: one, they only work about 80 per cent of the time,two and most importantly, it's not like you’re going to carry all that hardware to a meeting or to a
 
Michael J. Franklin
bar. Hence, you’re going to have to rely on your own skills and warning signals. Remember, if itsounds too good to be true, chances are…well you know!While there actually is no 100 percent way to expose a liar, there are some very helpful tactics foruncovering people who probably aren’t telling the truth.Some valuable tips to realize that you’re not getting the truth are:
Liars tend to give short or one-word responses to questions,
whereas, people telling the truth are more likely to talk a lotmore about the question that was asked.
In other studies, liars tend to provide much fewer details anduse fewer words than an honest person and liars tend to talkfor a smaller percentage of any conversation time.
Skilled liars don't break out in a sweat, but the rest of us tendto get fidgety and uncomfortable.

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Helen Winslow Black added this note
Mike, slideshow format is great and I like the picture of the phone-callers at the bar! But there are some redundancies and hey, how about info on eye direction "tells," this could be useful, I've discovered they are spot-on.
Michael J. Franklin added this note
What is the one word in the English language that you use to describe a politician that tells the truth? ....unemployed - and that's why the world's in the state it is.
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