My friend the hypnotists believes he can tell if someone is lying.
I don’t think he can.
It is commonly believed that the most effective way to determine if a person is lying or not is to focus on body language or eye movements, Unfortunately unless you are a professional mentalist with a mastery of this skill this will not work. Numerous studies have shown that that attempts to read lies from body language and facial expressions usually fail. This is the case even with trained police officers. According to one study, just 50 out of 20,000 people managed to make a correct judgment with more than 80% accuracy. One could be as accurate just flipping a coin.
In the past the accepted wisdom was that the act of lying provoked some strong emotions that would be that are difficult to contain including a sense of guilt, nerves, perhaps even excitement at the challenge. So, even if one thinks one has a poker face, one might still give away some tiny movements known as “micro-expressions”, it was believed were likely to give the game away.
One could read a liar’s intentions via their body language or from their face – blushing cheeks, a nervous laugh, darting eyes.
The difficulty in doing this is that every group of people has a unique set of behaviors that is seldom shared by other groups. There is no universal dictionary of body language
I was speaking at a convention recently. A meeting planner had contacted my company www.nostressspeaker.com to have me speak at a convention on stress in the healing professions. Of course we included corporate on-site chair massage in the program through out partnership with www.eventschairmassage.com.
One of the performers at the vent was a stage Mentalist. I asked her how she did what she did and she gave me a short course on her technique.
Though a skilled mentalist may recognize patterns unique to a certain group and read them correctly it is unlikely that a psychologist or any ordinary person with an interest in the subject could find reliable cues through quick observation. With familiarity, one might be able to spot someone’s tics whenever they are lying or telling the truth, but most others will probably act very. There is no consistent pattern of signs that always appear with deception. One person may seem to sneer while another giggles nervously, avoids it, some make eye contact, while others become more serious.
Even the idea that you can intuitively, subconscious isolate these signs has been disproved consistently.
Amazingly, our safety often rests on the belief that these mythical cues exist. This can be frightening when you really think about it. Consider the screening of passengers before a long-haul flight.
The process usually involves officers using a “yes/no” questionnaire about the flyer’s intentions, The officers are generally trained to observe “suspicious signs” (such as nervous body language) that might betray deception. The challenge for accuracy here in reading whether a person is or is not lying is that making a decision on this requires not just observation of non-verbal cues but also to listen to what a person says and how they say it. One has to process whether what a person says is credible and must also observe behavior change. These are the core elements for detecting deception. The existing protocols of watching body language are prone to bias, especially concerning ethnicity. Even a progressive thinking person who is sure that they are not racists or bigoted are more likely to find suspicious signs in certain ethnic groups. Some experts believe that the current approaches to deception detection may actually be obstacles to effective reading of cues method actually prevents deception detection,” he says.
The solution is simple. If a reader’s intuition gives them the sense that deception is taking place change the focus from the subtle non-verbal mannerisms to the actual words and phrases individuals saying. With gentle probing in the right places the liar’s front will soon crumble.
Click below to observe a nine minute video interview Lewis did with the Award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes on why people suffer:
Lewis Harrison is the author of sixteen books including
“Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times” a book of concerned with personal development, human potential, stress reduction and business excellence.
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A NOTE FROM LEWIS HARRISON ABOUT HIS FREE COURSE
I have been contacted by many people who have studied with me over the last four decades. Many have an interest in my current ideas on personal development and human potential. These notes are being organized into a series of books titled the”Teachings of Lewis Harrison” of which Volume One is “Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times.
based on the positive response to this first Volume in the series I have organized a free course from my 20,000 plus pages of notes on:
How to Make Choices, Zen, Mystic Taoism, Game Based Thinking, Quantum Thought, Holistic Medicine and Healing and other areas of interest.
If you want to receive the course just send me an e-mail toLewisCoaches@gmail.com and write “Send Me the Free Course” in the subject line. If you like it and ask for the next lesson I’ll send you another one weekly.
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Lewis Harrison speaks to organizations and businesses of all types and offers seminars throughout the world on his work on the art and science of decision making through spiritually motivated “Game Based Thinking”
He also offers private fee based coaching programs.
Call him at 212-724-8782 for more information.
Lewis Harrison is president of the International Association of healing Professional –www.healingassociation.com -. This group offers corporate chair massage for events and meeting planners in all.