Liars usually mean as little as possible , according to research in psychology. Instead of trying to tell an elaborate story, they really shut up, based on the fact that lies should be kept as simple as possible.
Psychologists recommend that detectives and intelligence agents encourage their suspects to speak.
This is just one result of a review of 60 studies of deception by Professor R. Edward Geiselman and colleagues. Professor Geiselman taught interview techniques to the FBI, the Navy, the police and department sheriffs, along with intelligence officers and others.
Another sign that someone is lying , the research shows, is that misleading people offer explanations without being asked .
Here are six more of the red flags that Professor Geiselman and colleagues have identified:
- Liars sometimes repeat questions before answering them – perhaps to buy time.
- They will watch your reaction carefully to see if you are buying the lie.
- Lying people change the pace of their speech, while “people who speak the truth will not drastically change their speech rate within a single sentence,” said Professor Geiselman.
- Body language signs that potentially reveal lying in speech include pressure on the lips and / or playing with hair or pointing at you (instead of distancing yourself, which is a sign of truth).
- Liars try to avoid specifics when pressed – real people provide more details.
- Real people often look away to focus on their answers – liars look at you.
Professor Geiselman said:
“People can learn to work better at detecting fraud. However, police departments generally do not provide more than a day of training for their detectives, if that, and the available research shows that you cannot improve much in just one day. ”
He also added that “without training, many people think they can detect the lie, but their perceptions are not related to their real ability”, and emphasized the need for proper training.