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.
10. 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.
Hazards of Incorrect lie detection:
|fear of being disbelieved|
|Unresolved guilt about other matters|
|Feel scorn toward those they know are falsely accusing them|
|Excitement about the challenge of proving their accuser wrong|
|Pleasure in anticipating their vindication|
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.”
Odds against spotting lies in the courtroom:
- 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.
Motives for Lying
- 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.
Reasons we do not catch liars
- 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.|
THE BETRAYAL OF CONCEALED INFORMATION, ORGANIZED BY BEHAVIORAL CLUES
Clue to Deceit
|Slips of the tongue||May be emotion-specific; may leak information unrelated to emotion|
|Tirades||May be emotion-specific; may leak information unrelated to emotion|
|Indirect speech||Verbal line not prepared; or, negative emotions, most likely fear|
|Pauses and speech errors||Verbal line not prepared; or, negative emotions, most likely fear|
|Voice pitch raised||Negative emotion, probably anger and/or fear|
|Voice pitch lowered||Negative emotion, probably sadness|
|Louder, faster speech||Probably anger, fear, and/or excitement|
|Slower, softer speech||Probably sadness and/or boredom|
|Emblems||May be emotion-specific; may leak information unrelated to emotion|
|Illustrators decrease||Boredom; line not prepared; or, weighing each word|
|Manipulators increase||Negative emotion|
|Fast or shallow breathing||Emotion, not specific|
|Sweating||Emotion, not specific|
|Frequent swallowing||Emotion, not specific|
|Micro expressions||Any of the specific emotions|
|Squelched expressions||Specific emotion; or, may only show that some emotion was interrupted but not which one|
|Reliable facial muscles||Fear or sadness|
|Increased ‘blinking||Emotion, not specific|
|Pupil dilation||Emotion, not specific|
|Tears||Sadness, distress, uncontrolled laughter|
|Facial reddening||Embarrassment, shame, or anger; maybe guilt|
|Facial blanching||Fear or anger|
THE BETRAYAL OF CONCEALED INFORMATION, ORGANIZED BY TYPE OF INFORMATION
Type of Information
|Verbal line not prepared||Indirect speech, Pauses, Speech errors, Illustrators decrease|
|Non Emotional information (e.g., facts, plans, fantasies)||Slip of the tongue, Tirade, Emblem*|
|Emotions (e.g., happiness, surprise, distress)||Slip of the tongue, Tirade, Micro expression, Squelched expression|
|Fear||Indirect speech, Pauses, Speech errors, Voice pitch raised, Louder and faster speech, Reliable facial muscles, Facial blanching|
|Anger||Voice pitch raised, Louder and faster speech, Facial reddening, Facial blanching|
|Sadness (Maybe guilt & shame)||Voice pitch lowered, Slower and softer speech, Reliable facial muscles, Tears, Gaze down, Blushing|
|Embarrassment||Blushing, Gaze down or away|
|Excitement||Increased illustrators, Voice pitch raised, Louder and faster speech|
|Boredom||Decreased illustrators, Slower and softer speech|
|Negative emotion||Indirect speech, Pauses, Speech errors, Voice pitch raised, Voice pitch lowered, Manipulators increased|
|The arousal of any emotion||Changed breathing, Sweating, Swallowing, Squelched expression, Increased blinking, Pupil dilation|
*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]
CLUES THAT AN EXPRESSION IS FALSE
|Fear||Absence of reliable forehead expression|
|Sadness||Absence of reliable forehead expression|
|Happiness||Eye muscles not involved|
|Enthusiasm or involvement with what is being said||Illustrators fail to increase, or timing of illustrators is incorrect|
|Negative emotions||Absence of: sweating, changed respiration, or increased manipulators|
|Any emotion||Asymmetrical expression, Onset too abrupt, Offset too abrupt or jagged, Location in speech incorrect|
LYING CHECK LIST
Questions about the lie
Hard to detect
Easy to detect
|1. CAN THE LIAR ANTICIPATE EXACTLY WHEN HE OR SHE HAS TO LIE?||YES: line prepared & rehearsed||NO: line not prepared|
|2. DOES THE LIE INVOLVE CONCEALMENT ONLY, WITHOUT ANY NEED TO FALSIFY?||YES||NO|
|3. DOES THE LIE INVOLVE EMOTIONS FELT AT THE MOMENT?||NO||YES: especially difficult if A. negative emotions such as anger, fear, or distress must be concealed or falsified. B. liar must appear emotionless and cannot use another emotion to mask felt emotions that have to be concealed|
|4. WOULD THERE BE AMNESTY IF LIAR CONFESSES TO LYING?||NO: enhances liar’s motive to succeed||YES: chance to induce confession|
|5. ARE THE STAKES IN TERMS OF EITHER REWARDS OR PUNISHMENTS VERY HIGH?||Difficult to predict: while high stakes may increase detection apprehension, it should also motivate the liar to try hard|
|6. ARE THERE SEVERE PUNISHMENTS FOR BEING CAUGHT LYING?||NO: low detection apprehension; but may produce carelessness||YES: enhances detection apprehension, but may also fear being disbelieved, producing false positive errors.|
|7. ARE THERE NO SEVERE PUNISHMENTS FOR THE VERY ACT OF HAVING LIED, APART FROM THE LOSSES INCURRED FROM THE DECEIT FAILING?||NO||YES: enhances detection apprehension; person may be dissuaded from embarking on lie if she or he knows that punishment for attempting to lie will be worse than the loss incurred by not lying|
|8. DOES THE TARGET SUFFER NO LOSS. OR EVEN BENEFIT, FROM THE LIE? IS THE LIE ALTRUISTIC NOT BENEFITING THE LIAR?||YES: enhances detection apprehension, but may also fear being disbelieved, producing false positive errors||NO: increases deception guilt|
|9. IS IT A SITUATION YES IN WHICH THE TARGET IS LIKELY TO TRUST THE LIAR, NOT SUSPECTING THAT HE OR SHE MAY BE MISLED?||YES||NO|
|10. HAS LIAR SUCCESSFULLY DECEIVED THE TARGET BEFORE?||YES: decreases detection apprehension; and if target would be ashamed or otherwise suffer by having to acknowledge having been fooled, she or he may become a willing victim.||NO|
|11. DO LIAR AND TARGET SHARE VALUES?||NO: decreases deception guilt||YES: increased deception guilt|
|12. IS THE LIE AUTHORIZED?||NO: decreased deception guilt||YES: increased deception guilt|
|13. IS THE TARGET ANONYMOUS?||YES: decreases deception guilt||NO|
|14. ARE TARGET AND LIAR PERSONALLY ACQUAINTED?||NO||YES: lie catcher will be more able to avoid errors due to individual differences|
|15. MUST LIE CATCHER CONCEAL HIS SUSPICIONS FROM THE LIAR?||YES: lie catcher may become enmeshed in his own need to conceal and fail to be as alert to liar’s behavior||NO|
|16. DOES LIE CATCHER HAVE INFORMATION THAT ONLY A GUILTY NOT AN INNOCENT PERSON WOULD ALSO HAVE?||NO||YES: Can try to use the guilty knowledge test if the suspect can be interrogated|
|17. IS THERE AN AUDIENCE WHO KNOWS OR SUSPECTS THAT THE TARGET IS BEING DECEIVED?||NO||YES: may enhance duping delight, detection apprehension, or deception guilt|
|18. DO LIAR AND LIE CATCHER COME FROM SIMILAR LANGUAGE, NATIONAL, CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS?||NO: more errors in judging clues to deceit||YES: better able to interpret clues to deceit|
Questions about the liar
Hard to detect
Easy to detect
|19. IS THE LIAR PRACTICED IN LYING?||YES: especially, if practiced in this type of lie||NO|
|20. IS THE LIAR INVENTIVE AND CLEVER IN FABRICATING?||YES||NO|
|21. DOES THE LIAR HAVE A GOOD MEMORY?||YES||NO|
|22. IS THE LIAR A SMOOTH TALKER, WITH A CONVINCING MANNER?||YES||NO|
|23. DOES THE LIAR USE THE RELIABLE FACIAL MUSCLES AS CONVERSATIONAL EMPHASIZERS?||YES: better able to conceal or falsify facial expressions||NO|
|24. IS THE LIAR SKILLED AS AN ACTOR, ABLE TO USE THE THE STANISLAVSKI METHOD?||YES||NO|
|25. IS THE LIAR LIKELY TO CONVINCE HIMSELF OF HIS LIE BELIEVING THAT WHAT HE SAYS IS TRUE?||YES||NO|
|26. IS SHE OR HE A “NATURAL LIAR” OR PSYCHOPATH?||YES||NO|
|27. DOES LIAR’S PERSONALITY MAKE LIAR VULNERABLE EITHER TO FEAR, GUILT, OR DUPING DELIGHT?||YES||NO|
|28. IS LIAR ASHAMED OF WHAT LIAR IS CONCEALING?||Difficult to predict: while shame works to prevent confession, leakage of that shame may betray the lie|
|29. MIGHT SUSPECTED LIAR FEEL FEAR, GUILT, SHAME, OR DUPING DELIGHT EVEN IF SUSPECT IS INNOCENT AND NOT LYING, OR LYING ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE?||YES: Can’t interpret emotion clues||NO: signs of these emotions are clues to deceit|
|–. IS LIAR AWARE THAT HE OR SHE IS UNDER SUSPICION||YES: Detection apprehension will be lower||YES: guard on expressions will be lower.|
Questions about the Lie Catcher
Hard to detect
Easy to detect
|30. DOES THE LIE CATCHER HAVE A REPUTATION OF BEING TOUGH TO MISLEAD?||NO: especially if liar has in the past been successful in fooling the lie catcher||increases detection apprehension; may also increase duping delight|
|31. DOES THE LIE CATCHER HAVE A REPUTATION FOR BEING DISTRUSTFUL||Difficult to predict: such a reputation might decrease deception guilt, it may also increase detection apprehension|
|32. DOES THE LIE CATCHER HAVE A REPUTATION OF BEING FAIR-MINDED?||NO: liar less likely to feel guilty about deceiving the lie catcher||YES: increases detection|
|33. IS THE LIE CATCHER A DENIER, WHO AVOIDS PROBLEMS AND TENDS TO ALWAYS THINK THE BEST OF PEOPLE?||YES: probably will overlook clues to deceit, vulnerable to false negative errors.||NO|
|34. IS LIE CATCHER UNUSUALLY ABLE TO ACCURATELY INTERPRET EXPRESSIVE BEHAVIOR||NO||YES|
|35. DOES THE LIE CATCHER HAVE PRECONCEPTIONS WHICH BIAS THE LIE CATCHER AGAINST THE LIAR?||NO||YES: although lie catcher will be alert to clues to deceit, he will be liable to false positive errors.|
|36. DOES THE LIE CATCHER OBTAIN ANY BENEFITS FROM NOT DETECTING THE LIE?||YES: lie catcher will||NO: ignore, deliberately or unwittingly, clues to deceit|
|37. IS LIE CATCHER UNABLE TO TOLERATE UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WHETHER HE IS BEING DECEIVED?||Difficult to predict: may cause either false positive or false negative errors|
|38. IS LIE CATCHER SEIZED BY AN EMOTIONAL WILDFIRE?||NO||YES: liars will be caught, but innocents will be judged to be lying (false positive error)|
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