How Can We Tell if Someone is Lying to Us?
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How Can We Tell if Someone is Lying to Us?

Wouldn't it be great if you could know in advance when someone is lying to you, rather than finding out later that you had been duped. Many people lose faith in people when they have been lied to so many times, that they never know who to trust. If you know how to spot the signs of deception you can know instantly if someone is lying to you. Knowing in advance that someone is lying to you can prevent you from being scammed. I have become interested in the science of detecting deception since the new drama came to TV called "Lie to Me."

The science of detecting lies.

Police investigators, security personnel, and employers are learning the science of detecting lies. The body takes on changes from when one is telling lies, as compared when one is telling the truth. For instance, when you lie, the body is tense, and your body is less animated. When there is movement of the hands, the movement is more for self-comforting. When you are lying your hands are more likely to stroke your hair in some fashion, to touch your neck, your face, and/or to shield your mouth with your hand. You might go for self-comforting measures that go further than mere touching, you may feel the need to scratch you neck, in the hairline, and behind the ears. The body's reaction to lying shows up loud and clear to people who have been trained to notice them. When you are telling the truth you are more likely to touch the center of your chest, as in speaking from your heart; however, when you are lying you would be more likely to touch your head and face area, because that is the area the lies are coming from.

Eye contact and lying.

Quite often, when someone lies to you they cannot keep eye contact. The liar may be able to maintain eye contact during part of an interview or conversation, but then the person may break eye contact when they become uncomfortable. Eye contact is not proof in itself that one is lying to you, because not many of us could maintain contact through an entire conversation. For instance, a shy introverted person may have difficulty maintaining eye contact. They may look past you, rather than looking at you. However, the eye contact in conjunction with other signs can be an indicator of deception.

Visual cues.

Our eyes tell whether we are telling the truth or not. A trained person can detect deception by noticing your eye movements, which are called visual cues, or visual accessing cues. Visual cues are normally the same on all people that have no impairments to disallow their eye movements, with the exception that the cues are opposite for right and left handed people.

A right handed person, when asked to imagine a pink elephant, will move his/her eyes up and to the left, and a left handed person would move his/her eyes up and to the right. This eye movement is referred to as visually constructed images (Vc), because you are constructing the image in your brain.

When we are asked to recall something from memory our eyes roll up and to the right if we are right handed, and up and to the left if we are left handed. This eye movement is called visually remembered images (Vr). For instance, if you were to ask me what make, model, and color my first car was, I would have to retrieve the memory from my memory, so my eyes would move upwards and to the right, because I am right handed.

The eyes of a right handed person move to the left when asked to mentally create a sound in his/her head. If asked to describe what a fog horn sounded like, the eyes would move to the left. This is called auditory constructed (Ac) imaging. And if you were asked to describe the sound from your memory your eyes would go to the right.


These baseline movements of the eye are useful in detecting deception. If a right handed person is lying about something they saw or heard their eye movements would be contrary for what is normal for a right handed person, and the opposite would be true for a left handed person.

These eye movements are just indicators that someone may be lying, they are not absolute by themselves. However, when combined with other factors, such as lack of eye contact, self comforting with the hands, tension in the body, less animation of the body - you can suspect the person speaking to you is not telling you the truth. For more information about visual cues click on my first source.


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Comments (6)

That was interesting! The eyes tell all I guess. I pay close attention to lip formations too. My wife is right handed. When her lips move, and sound comes out of her mouth...she is usually lying. (excuse me, that might have sounded mean, I was going for funny!)

Now that's funny Kevin. Sounds exactly like a hubby trying for funny! hehe.:)

Totally good points here, I found this very interesting!

Fascinating. I don't think that visual cues are a perfect science, but they're not bad guidelines.


I found better ways to tell if they're lying

Now that I know the signs of a liar, I know how to mask my lying. ;) Just kidding. Very interesting article!