True Story? Psychologists Advising the FBI Offer These 8 Tips on Spotting a Liar

True Story? Psychologists Advising the FBI Offer These 8 Tips on Spotting a Liar

Is it the truth, or far from it? From body language to speech patterns, a lot about the way we talk holds the message.

Not everyone lies frequently. That may seem like a rational statement, but for those who do often resort to telling little white lies- or bigger, more colorful fibs- this news can come as a surprise.

Here’s how it plays out: a study conducted by the International Communication Association found that many people are honest most of the time, many are also honest about their lying, and that some people really do lie a lot.

So, how can you spot someone who’s stretching, (or completely inventing) the truth?

Related: Truth of Fiction: Your Ice Cream is 50% Air

Psychologists who advise law enforcement agencies have many tips up their sleeve. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) some of whom have taught

investigative interviewing techniques to detectives and intelligence officers from the FBI, say there many cues to look for.

Hoping to catch someone in the act? Here are 8 clues they offer, to spot someone in the act of deceiving you:

1) They Say Little

If someone is telling the truth and challenged, they tend to deny they’re lying and elaborate, getting into the details of their story.

Someone who’s lying, on the other hand, will often tell you as little as possible. We’re talking bare-bones, with no specifics.

2) They Spontaneously Justify

Liars tend to give spontaneous justification for the little bit they are telling you, and this is without being prompted.

3) They Repeat Your Questions

Deceivers can tend to repeat what you asked them, maybe in an effort to grab a bit more time to concoct their story.

4) They Monitor How You’re Listening

Liars want to be believed. It’s important to them that you buy into their story, and they’ll often watch the way you’re listening, to see if you’re on board.

5) They Alter How Fast They Talk

The answer a liar gives you might start out slow. As they get going though, they tend to speed up their talking rate, and “spew it out”. People who are telling the truth won’t alter the speed their talking at, within the same sentence.

6) They Talk in Fragments

A liar will talk in short sentences, back up and leave statements unfinished. Truth-tellers are speak in a more complete fashion.

7) They Gesture Towards Themselves

In addition to being more likely to press their lips together when asked a sensitive question, those who lie are more likely to play with their hair, and gesture towards themselves with their hands. Those telling the truth won’t move around, or they’ll gesture outwardly.

8) They Don’t Look Away

If you ask a truthful person a difficult question, they’ll often look away. Answering it requires concentration. Dishonest people will look away for a moment, but often not at all or just briefly.

But, sometimes your gut reaction tells you most. Don’t over analyze as this can make things worse, and trust it!

Photo credits: pathdoc/



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