Verbal methods of lie detection work better than non-verbal ones

Thursday, February 17, 2011

WASHINGTON - A new study has suggested that verbal methods of lie detection may work far better than non-verbal ones.

Aldert Vrij of the University of Portsmouth, Anders Granhag of the University of Gothenburg, and Stephen Porter of the University of British Columbia said that there are psychological differences between liars and truth-tellers that can be exploited in the search for the truth.

An interview that encourages suspects to talk and allows for opportunities to identify inconsistencies between the answer and available evidence.

They say that lying requires far more effort than telling the truth.

Lie detectors routinely make the common mistakes of overemphasizing nonverbal cues, neglecting intrapersonal variations (i.e., how a person acts when they are telling the truth versus when they are lying), and being overly confident in their lie-detection skills.

It requires more brain power to come up with a lie and keep track of it (e.g., who was told what) than it does to tell the truth. Imposing cognitive load on interviewees by asking them to recall the events in reverse order may also be useful in weeding out liars from those telling the truth.

This research has important implications in a variety of settings, including the courtroom, police interviews, and screening individuals with criminal intent, for instance, identifying potential terrorists. (ANI)

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