How to spot a liar: they are the one who will look you in the eye

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Laura Don­nelly HEALTH ED­I­TOR

PEO­PLE who look you straight in the eye may be ly­ing, re­search sug­gests.

A study of de­cep­tion found that tics as­so­ci­ated with un­truths, such as shifts in eye gaze and hes­i­ta­tion, were ac­tu­ally more com­mon in hon­est peo­ple.

Sci­en­tists sug­gested that liars may be skilled at sup­press­ing such sig­nals.

Re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh used an in­ter­ac­tive trea­sure­hunt­ing game, where play­ers were free to lie at will, to as­sess the speech and ges­tures of liars and study how lis­ten­ers in­ter­preted clues to tell truth from false­hood. They found that lis­ten­ers judged truth­ful­ness ex­tremely quickly – within a few hun­dred mil­lisec­onds of en­coun­ter­ing a cue.

How­ever, they also found com­mon cues as­so­ci­ated with ly­ing were more likely to be given by truth­ful peo­ple.

Dr Martin Cor­ley, lead re­searcher, said: “The find­ings sug­gest that we have strong pre­con­cep­tions about the be­hav­iour as­so­ci­ated with ly­ing, which we act on al­most in­stinc­tively.

“How­ever, we don’t nec­es­sar­ily pro­duce these cues when we’re ly­ing.”

The study is pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Cog­ni­tion.

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