Thursday, November 4, 2010

Four Opportunities to Detect Deception

Another great post by Joe Navarro @ Spycatcher.
I am often asked about the most effective strategies for discerning if someone is lying. It seems to be a topic of keen interest and of late, one stimulated by the show “Lie To Me.” Those of you who frequently read my blogs here on Psychology Today know that I feel it is important to share the science behind nonverbal communications, including what we know about detecting deception. But it is also important to be aware of the limits and boundaries of attempting to determine when someone is lying.
In What Every Body is Saying, I dedicated a chapter to detecting deception but with this caveat: “. . . most people—both laypersons and professionals—are not very good at detecting lies.” (Navarro 2008, 206) That line was written in 2007 and no research or experience thus far has dissuaded me from this belief. In fact, if you read my last post on “Nonverbals and DNA Exonerations”, you can see, very demonstrably, that we humans are terrible at detecting deception.  In those 261 DNA exoneration cases that I studied, the officers were wrong 100% of the time in assessing for truth and wrong 100% of the time in assessing for deception. Those numbers are not only astounding, they are shameful and a reminder of just how weak we are at detecting deception.
Click Here to Read: Four Opportunities to Detect Deception

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