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Kendra Cherry

How to Tell If Someone Is Lying

By , black-rose-bielefeld.de GuideMay 17, 2011

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I spotted an interesting article over on Science Daily looking at how psychologists help members of law enforcement distinguish between the truth and lies. Researchers at UCLA recently conducted research 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 April issue of the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry.

Body language is often used as a way to determine if a person might be lying. A few of the potential red flags the researchers identified that might indicate that people are being 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."

Learn more about this study:

  • How to Tell When Someone's Lying: Psychologist Helps Law Enforcement Agencies Tell Truth from Deception

Photo by Nicolas Loran/iStockPhoto


May 17, 2011 at 9:38 am

His method would not be advised (IMO) with someone who has been horribly abused, past or present. Such a person, learns to read clues on others in order to answer without being assaulted (mentally or physically). The article does not say if his methods account for this. I am thinking because it does not, he doesn?t. However, if he does, then I would want to know this, as it might change my opinion of his technique. A police officer not knowing the background of an abused person, would think, that the person is lying, when the person is only trying to avoid another assault (an abused person past or current, doesn?t always feel, an officer is there to protect). This method only continues to label victims without identifying them. I find it disgusting!

May 23, 2011 at 9:36 am

Well some people are potentially great liars and somtimes they dont show ay of these signs. Then what?

July 9, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Then punch them until they tell the truth

July 17, 2011 at 3:38 am

If a women other than your mother says she loves you.

May 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm

lie detector

September 13, 2012 at 4:20 pm

ILie detectors aren?t exactly accurate and they are mostly used if the FBI or any other government organization is involved. Mainly internal affairs or anything leading to a police case.

November 17, 2012 at 9:22 am

By the way, if you take the ?If they do not look me in the eye approach, then you will be easily disappointed. ever since i learned that you look people in the eye to show that you are telling the truth, i look people in the eye now while lying. they never see the difference. but, look at the amount of times that they gesticulate. if they don?t, more often then not they are lying.

December 24, 2012 at 8:16 pm
(8)Bob Gaughsays:

I can tell when my teenagers are lying. It happens when their lips are moving.

January 13, 2021 at 2:31 pm
(9)Rob dicksays:

Haha really funny

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