Thursday, November 5, 2015

(How to) Tell if Someone’s Lying (for Dummies)


Trust takes a long time to establish but it takes very little to lose.

Did you know the average person engages in some type of deception up to 30 times per week? Steve Van Aperen has worked on more than 50 serial-killer investigations as a behavioral interviewer, and trains people across the globe in detecting deception.

The first thing to look for is, “Are they answering the question, or are they deliberately being evasive or dismissive?” Steve says, “A truthful person will give a clear-cut direct answer,” while a deceptive person will object, saying something like “Why would I do that?”

The second red flag: Deceptive people will talk in different tenses. “Deceptive people jump between past tense and present tense,” Steve explains, using the case of Susan Smith, who was convicted of murder. “She said ‘I loved my children,’” Steve points out. “Loved is past tense. It’s very uncharacteristic for a mother to give up hope so soon after a disappearance.”

Finally, “Look for conflict or contradiction between what a person says and their body language, in fact, shows.” Some people might involuntarily shake their heads or put a hand near their mouth, which some scientists believe is a subconscious attempt to block false words.

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