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The clues to truth and deception are everywhere… can you spot them?How much deceit do we encounter? On a given day, studies show, you may be lied to anywhere from 10 to 200 times. Now granted, many of those are white lies. Another study showed that strangers lied three times within the first 10 minutes of meeting each other.

Detecting lies, or “lie spotting,” is an essential skill for everyone to acquire, for both personal and professional reasons.

Liespotting reveals the sophisticated lie-detection methods of security experts and interrogators, and arms you with proven techniques to detect deception and build trust.

After an epiphany at her Harvard reunion, Pamela Meyer, a Certified Fraud Examiner, embarked on a three-year research adventure to discover how and why people deceive. She shares much of what she learned so fraud examiners can become liespotters.

You’re seated across from Stan in the interview room, and all you can think of are the immortal words of George Costanza’: “Just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.” You think Stan is about to tell you some big fibs about his possible involvement in a company embezzlement, but how will you tell? Pamela Meyer can help.

Meyer, a CFE and author of the bestselling book,Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception,” can give you a holistic approach that will indicate if Stan is a believable liar, unbelievably lying or both. She can show how to watch for his telltale facial expressions and body language. She can teach you 10 questions to get him to tell you anything you want. And she can show you methods to parse Stan’s words. However, the methods she’ll give you aren’t parlor tricks. They’re part of a scientifically grounded system for ferreting out deception.

Meye says she accidentally walked into the world of deception detection five years ago when she attended her 20th year reunion at Harvard Business School.

“I took a workshop at this reunion with 350 of my classmates where a professor detailed his findings on how people behave when they are being deceptive,” she says. “What they do with their posture, their purses, their backpacks, their language structure, their smiles. I witnessed something you rarely see. For 45 minutes, 350 high-level, busy people were riveted. No one was tapping at their Blackberries. No one was running to the hall to start a conference call.

“People, who thought they had seen it all, were learning something completely new and useful,” Meyer says. “When I witnessed this unusual moment of executive silence, I knew I had happened onto something transformational.” She says she set out to immerse herself in learning techniques for spotting deception that intelligence, security, law enforcement and espionage agencies had developed and were using.

Eye opening! MUST WATCH VIDEO!

We’ve all heard that tales of cheating on school and college tests are rife. There have been instances where teachers have given students test answers in order to make themselves look good on their performance reviews. Mentors who should be teaching the opposite are sending a message that lying and cheating are acceptable.
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Far from being a parlor game similar to, say, charades, where the object is to exclaim, “Gotcha,” deception detection is a serious branch of knowledge based on scientific data collected over the last six decades at prestigious universities conducting in-depth research projects, especially in psychology and physiology.
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One result of the research is that most old myths about lying have been debunked. Liars do look you in the eye. They do not always stutter, stammer, blush or fidget.
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Don’t conclude from this that liars are hard to spot and difficult to unmask. A trained lie spotter can get to the truth by learning about statement structure, facial micro-expressions, question formation and timing. I spent several years surveying the scientific findings in the vast and ever emerging body of knowledge on deception, and it is clear that deception detection is a modern skill that is easy to learn and helpful in navigating our complex world — especially if your professional responsibilities include hiring, interviewing, negotiating or managing.
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Good liars are skilled at reading others well, putting them at ease, managing their own emotions and intuitively sensing how others perceive them.
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We know from research that extroverts lie more than introverts, that men tell more “self-oriented” lies while women tell more “other-oriented” lies — usually to protect someone’s feelings — that married people lie less frequently to their partners than unmarried people do (but the lies they do tell tend to be “whoppers”). We also know that if you are perceived as a wrongdoer, others will feel less guilt in lying to you.
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How do you tell if someone is lying? First, observe your subject’s normal behavior. This is called “baselining.” It helps provide a reference point for measuring changes later. Observe your subject’s posture, laugh, vocal quality. You’d better know if someone normally taps their foot all the time so you don’t make unjust accusations when you see foot-tapping in the middle of the meeting.
Then look for clusters of deceptive verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Consider these clusters red flags, not proof of deception.
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Deceptive people might freeze their upper body when trying to remember their story, they might point their feet toward the door, lean toward an exit, shift their posture in significant ways or exhibit “post-interview relief” — that exaggerated exhale of relief and shift in posture when all the hard questions are over. Interrogators often falsely signal that an interview is over just to look for that post-interview relief.
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Also, pay attention to your subject’s language. Scott Peterson famously slipped and used the past tense while claiming his murdered wife was alive, launching a nationwide search for her.
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Lying has destroyed careers and convulsed countries. New York congressman and Internet flasher Anthony Weiner made a fool of himself issuing denials quickly contradicted by incontrovertible evidence. Former presidential candidate John Edwards has been charged with campaign finance violations connected to the cover-up of an extramarital affair. And then again, no one who lived through it will ever forget the media circus President Bill Clinton unleashed by lying during his second term in office about his sexual involvement with Monica Lewinsky.
Deceptive individuals might also use distancing language: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman … Miss Lewinsky” or repeat a hard question in its entirety. The most common verbal indicators are subtle. Someone might use lots of “qualifying language” when answering a hard question: “Well … to tell you the truth … as far as I know … to the best of my knowledge.” This renders the answer perceptual rather than factual and is often a red flag.
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There’s no magic bullet for detecting lies, but developing skills to ferret out deception is possible.These skills will enhance anyone’s chances of avoiding victimization by scam artists in their professional and personal lives.

These techniques will also help you gain a lasting advantage in business and dramatically improve your personal relationships by learning to decode the body language, facial expressions, words and actions of everyone you encounter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resources/Related:

Pamela Meyer

Pamela Meyer Pamela Meyer is founder and CEO of Calibrate, a leading deception detection training company, and of social networking company Simpatico Networks. She holds an MBA from Harvard, an MA in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate School, and is a Certified Fraud Examiner. She has extensive training in the use of visual clues and psychology to detect deception.

Pamela Meyer discusses Liespotting and the current deception epidemic

 

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Face

10 Amazing Facts About the Human Face and How It Reveals Deception

Writing and talk do not prove me, I carry the plenum of proof and every thing else in my face —Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”

The first rule in deception detection is to watch the face. Our faces reveal multitudes about what we are thinking, feeling, intending. A slack jaw hints that we’ve been surprised, flared nostrils suggest hostility. Drooping eyelids in… Learn More →

Words

Words

10 Ways Liars Use Words To Obscure the Truth

Lying is hard work. Daunting as it may seem to keep track of all the possible signs of deception—facial cues, gestures, leg movements—think of how difficult it is to be the deceiver. To tell a convincing lie, you must keep all the details of your story straight. And not only that, you must sell it with appropriate body language, while trying to avoid leaking any emotional clues that would g… Learn More →
Body

Body

10 Body Language “Tells” That Reveal Deception

It sounds hard to believe at first, but just 7% of how we communicate with each other is through words. Humans communicate primarily through body language. It’s been that way throughout our evolutionary history, and it remains so today. Recent studies have concluded that body language makes up about 65% of our interactions—the bulk of the 80% of communication that is deemed “nonverbal.”… Learn More →
Test Your Lie-Q

Quiz

Most People Are No Better Than Chimpanzees at Detecting Lies

Since we hear as many as 200 lies a day, we live with a hidden problem most of us are unaware of. With training in the fundamentals of deception detection, we can significantly improve our liespotting skills. How much do you know about liespotting? Before you step into real-world situations that demand watchful eyes and ears, test your knowledge with our Lie-Q quiz. Take the Quiz →

 

 

 

  • Test Your Lie-Q

    Most people are no better than chimpanzees at detecting lies. How much do you know about liespotting? Take the Quiz →

 

 

Blogs

Expert “Lie Spotter” Reveals Telltale Signs Of Deception

Don’t try lying to Pamela Meyer. She’s known internationally as an expert deception detector. Her TED talk on the subject is super popular, and she’s written a book called “Liespotting.” She also runs a company called Calibrate in Washington, D.C. … Read More

How To Spot a Liar: The NPR TED Radio Hour Interview

tedrhAre you a good liar? Or a Bad liar?

Listen to Pamela Meyer and Guy Raz discuss the future of honesty, how to spot a liar and how to take a quick test to determine if you are a good or a bad liar.

Listen here!

Read More

Is Chris Christie lying?

chris_lieLawrence O’Donnell asks Salon writer Amy Punt about her provocative new piece “5 Reasons Chris Christie Might Be Lying,” in which she applied lie detection techniques from the book “Liespotting” to Governor Christie’s press conference. // Read More

Pamela Meyer’s Ted Talk : How to Spot a Liar makes “top 20 most popular talks” list with over twelve million views.

Screen Shot 2014-01-21 at 2.50.46 PMThe 20 most popular TED Talks, as of this moment “As 2013 draws to a close, TED is deeply humbled to have posted 1600+ talks, each representing an idea worth spreading. So which ideas have had the most widespread impact? … Read More

Liespotting Ryan Braun

hufflogoWhy you don’t need a labcoat to tell Ryan Braun was doping Though Braun was able to bluff his way past MLB officials for the better part of two years, they clearly suspected something was up. Sometimes those suspicions are … Read More

Generation Win: Has our Drive to Win Replaced Sportmanship?

hufflogoWhat do a hard shove in an NBA playoff game, a wayward ball in The Masters golf tournament, and a high school soccer match in Utah have in common? Nike’s new slogan sums it up: Winning Takes Care of Everything. … Read More

New Research: Truth-telling dyads share memories; deceptive dyads work in parallel

DeceptionNew research shows for the first time that a pair of liars will recall events differently than truth-tellers, offering crucial clues for law enforcement and intelligence officers who operate in social settings. Read More

Cheating in High School and College: Why you should care

conference_on_cheatingThe Center for Leadership and Ethics at Virginia Military Institute is doing something brilliant: An ambitious and highly relevant conference on cheating. Two thousand participants will be discussing this critical topic, in small groups and in a larger forum. Pamela … Read More

Liespotting Herman Cain

Liespotting Herman CainHerman Cain has accused 5 women of lying. Comedians are having a field day—yet running for President is serious business. Lie detection experts suggest Cain is the deceptive one. Read More

Pamela Meyer’s editorial and TED Talk on CNN

cnnsquareA glance at recent headlines indicates just how serious and pervasive deceit and lying are in daily life. Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain is busy trading allegations of sexual harassment with several women; each side accuses the other of lying. … Read More

Pamela Meyer speaks at TED Global

Pamela Meyer, bestselling authorDo gorillas lie?

They have been known to. Koko, the gorilla taught sign language, once blamed her pet kitten for ripping a sink out of the wall, but it’s us humans who are the true masters of the art. According to Pamela Meyer, a social media expert, we are living in a “post-truth society”. Those Facebook friends of yours, for example? Just how real are they? Lying, she says, is the bridge between reality and our fantasies, between who we are and who we want to be.

And it’s a cooperative act. You can only be lied to if you agree to it. Strangers lie three times within the first 10 minutes of meeting. But then again, according to Meyer, married couples lie to each other once in every 10 interaction…

Read More

Seven Big Lies About Lying – Huffington Post

hufflogoIf Edith Wharton lived in the Age of Innocence, surely we now live in the Age of Deception…. Read More

Deception Experts take on Rep. Anthony Weiner

feat-anthony-weinerBy now you have surely participated in the nation’s “Weiner Roast” as one of our country’s public servants self destructs over weak denials regarding a lewd photo sent from his Twitter account. Watch the video below, and you’ll see flashes … Read More

More to a Smile Than Lips and Teeth

smilethumbWe are just beginning to understand how the reward circuits in our brains become activated via observation of others. By CARL ZIMMER New York Times In the middle of a phone call four years ago, Paula Niedenthal began to wonder … Read More

Wary Investors Turn to Lie Pro’s

Wall Street JournalWhen screening a fund manager, investors like to see experience and a consistent record or returns. Elizabeth Prial, however, looks for dilated pupils and uneven breathing.Ms. Prial, a psychologist and former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, has spent most of her career looking for lies in the statements of mafia hitmen and terrorists. Now, she is on the hunt for the next Bernard Madoff, selling her deception-detection skills to institutional investors and others with large pools of money who want to know if prospective fund managers are telling the truth. Read More

Liespotting Challenge Archive

This post is part of the Liespotting Challenge series.

See All Challenge Posts

Liespotting Lance Armstrong Part 2: Expert Analysis

video-thumbCIA Veteran Regretfully Suggests Lance Armstrong is Lying: We asked Liespotters worldwide to comment on this video clip of Lance denying use of unauthorized substances. The team at Liespotting.com was very impressed with the response from readers. But Phil Houston, expert deception detector takes it much further. He says Lance displays over 25 deceptive indicators in just a few minutes. Take another look at the video, then read Phil’s fascinating analysis. Read More

Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar | TED Summaries

Liespotting

Pamela Meyer – Bloomberg

Association of Certified Fraud Examiners

Read Pamela Meyer’s Q&A on deception from FRAUD … – Calibrate

Probing the Body Language of a Fraudster | Accounting Today

Simpatico Networks Announces Investment from ZelnickMedia … – ZMC

How to spot a liar – Ted Talk by Pamela Meyer (Transcript)

Detect Deception – LaSorsa …

Elusive liars – Fraud Magazine

Can You Learn To Spot A Liar? : NPR

How to spot a lie – CNN – CNN.com

Annotated captions of Pamela Meyer: How to spot a liar in English .

 

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