Is It Possible to Spot a Liar?

Most of us think we know the telltale signs of a liar—shifty eyes, sweating, a long, winding story that seems highly improbable. The stereotypes are even cross-cultural: a 2006 study done at the Texas Christian University found that similar perceptions of liars exist in over sixty countries.In reality, however, there is not one behavior all liars exhibit and some behaviors we associate with lying could mean something else entirely. Because of this, few people are very good at spotting liars. Even the so-called “experts”—body language professionals, customs officials, etc.—are only right about half the time.

Deciphering a liar from a truth-teller is not completely hopeless; it just isn’t as easy as is seems. Read more

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