2. Hazards of Incorrect Lie Detection
3. Odds against spotting lies in the courtroom
4. Motives For Lying
5. Reasons we do not catch liars
6. THE BETRAYAL OF CONCEALED INFORMATION, ORGANIZED BY BEHAVIORAL CLUES
7. THE BETRAYAL OF CONCEALED INFORMATION, ORGANIZED BY TYPE OF INFORMATION
8. CLUES THAT AN EXPRESSION IS FALSE
9. LYING CHECK LIST
The accuracy of any technique of lie detection depends upon the nature of the lie, the liar and the lie catcher.
- Try to make explicit the basis of any hunches and intuitions about whether or not someone is lying. By becoming more aware of how you interpret behavioral clues to deceit, you will learn to spot your mistakes and recognize when you don’t have much chance to make a correct judgment.
- Remember that there are two dangers in detecting deceit: disbelieving-the-truth (judging a truthful person to be lying) and Believing-a-lie (Judging a liar to be truthful). There is no way to completely avoid both mistakes. Consider the consequences of risking either mistake.
- The absence of a sign of deceit is not evidence of truth; some people don’t leak. The presence of of a sign of deceit is not always evidence of lying; some people appear ill-at-ease or guilty when they are truthful.
- Search your mind for any preconceptions you may have about the suspect. Consider whether your preconceptions will bias your chance of making a correct judgment. Don’t try to judge whether or not someone is lying if you feel overcome by jealousy or in an emotional wildfire. Avoid the temptation to suspect lying because it explains otherwise inexplicable events.
- Always consider the possibility that a sign of emotion is not a clue to deceit but a clue to how a truthful person feels about being suspected of lying. Discount the sign of an emotion as a clue to deceit if a truthful suspect might feel that emotion because of: The suspects personality; the nature of your past relationship with the suspect; or the suspects expectations.
- Bear in mind that many clues to deceit are signs of more than one emotion, and that those that are must be discounted of one of those emotions could be felt of the suspect is truthful while another could be felt if the suspect is lying.
- Consider whether or not the suspect knows he is under suspicion and what the gains or losses in detecting deceit would be either way.
- If you have knowledge that the suspect would also have only if he is lying, and you can afford to interrogate the suspect, construct a Guilty Knowledge Test.
- Never reach a final conclusion about whether a suspect is lying or not based solely on your interpretation of behavioral clues to deceit. Behavioral clues, like the polygraph, can never provide absolute evidence.
- Use the checklist provided in the appendix (table 4) to evaluate the lie, the liar, and you, the lie catcher, to estimate the likelihood of making errors or correctly judging truthfulness.
The balance between suspicion and gullibility
The absence of a sign of deceit is not evidence of truth.
The presence of a sign of deceit is not evidence of a lie.
Emotional Wildfire: (Ekman, 172)
Disbelieving-The-truth (False Positive)
Absolute Judgments: People are likely to be mislead in first meetings.
Blind spots or preconceptions that interfere with accurate judgment of behavioral clues to deceit.
“The interpretation of four sources of leakage — slips of the tongue, emotional tirades, emblematic slips, and micro-expressions–is not so vulnerable to the Brokaw hazard. A comparison is not needed to evaluate them.” (Ekman, 1678)
The emotional pileup: The liar feels guilty about the object of deception, plus the guilt of deceiving the victim of the lie. i.e.
How does one determine if a victim of a lie is allowing him or her self to be deceived?
Jerry from John Updike’s novel “Marry Me” does not suspect Ruth is deceiving him because his suspecting such behavior would also cause him to suspect his own failure as a husband.
Stalin: “[A] diplomat’s words must have no relation to actions — otherwise, what kind of diplomacy is it?…Good words are concealment of bad deeds. Sincere diplomacy is no more possible than dry water or iron wood.”
- The guilty suspect is given many chances to prepare and rehearse her replies before her truthfulness is evaluated by a jury or a judge, thus increasing her confidence and decreasing her fear of being detected.
- The direct examination and cross examination takes place months, if not years, after the incident, thereby blunting emotions associated with the criminal event.
- Because of the long time delay before the beginning of the trial, the suspect will have repeated her false account so often that she may start to believe her own false story; when that happens, she is in a sense, not lying when she testifies.
- When challenged in cross-examination, the defendant typically has been prepared if not rehearsed by her own attorney, and the questions asked often allow a simple yes or no reply.
- The signs of fear of being disbelieved can be misinterpreted as a guilty person’s fear of being caught.
- To avoid being punished
- To obtain a reward not otherwise readily obtainable
- To Protect another person from being punished
- To Protect oneself from the threat of physical harm.
- To win the admiration of others.
- To get out of an awkward social situation.
- To avoid embarrassment.
- To maintain privacy, without giving notification of the intention to maintain some information as private.
- To exercise power over others, by controlling the information the target has.
- Our evolutionary history did not prepare us.
- Our parents did not teach us how to catch their lies.
- We prefer to trust rather than be suspicious.
- We often want to be misled. Most of us operate on the unwritten principle of postponing having to confront anything that is very unpleasant, and we may do so by collusively overlooking a liar’s mistakes.
- We are brought up to be polite in our interactions, not to steal information that is not given to us.
|The mirror play|
|Directly addressing and making public the privately held suspicion reduces it.|
*Emblems cannot convey as many different messages as slips of the tongue or tirades. Among Americans there are about sixty messages for which there are emblems. [Top]
Ekman, Paul. Telling Lies: Clues to deceit in the marketplace, politics, and marriage (c) 2001 by Paul Ekman. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. ISBN 0-393-32188-6