How good are you at detecting a lie? Some people have jobs in which they come in to contact with people who lie a lot, which might explain why these people are pretty good at detecting lies. Studies have shown that people who work for the U.S. Secret Service are pretty good at detecting a lie. There have been several studies to determine people’s accuracy in detecting lies, these studies usually have what is called the deception judgment task. Law-enforcement groups, college students, and psychologists are the people most typically tested. Most people are not good at catching lies. Catching lies can be difficult because there are many methods to conceal deceit. Do not worry if you are not good at catching lies, this could be because you have not been over exposed to dishonest people. This is probably a good thing because if everyone was great at detecting lies society would be painfully and overly honest. Although I am not advocating lying, there are some situations in which being honest can be damaging, especially in value judgments. For example, someone asks you, “Do you think I can do such and such?” even though you may not believe they can do it you may not know for sure, so the answer “yes” might be appropriate in that situation. With training some people can increase their accuracy at detecting lies. Many of these studies suggested that people with training and experience in detecting deceptions have a higher degree of accuracy in detecting lies than others. This means that if you would like to increase your deception detection accuracy you need to expose yourself to more opportunities to do this. One such source is YouTube which has several videos about detecting micro-expressions and how to become a human lie detector. Deceptions can be consistently predicted by monitoring facial expressions. Studying YouTube videos will help increase your lie detection accuracy. Micro-expressions are really fast changes in the face that reliably predict a person’s feelings, which may help reveal if a person is telling the truth. Science has discovered that emotions are not learned, which means they are universal. This has also been extended to facial expressions of emotions. A YouTube video featuring Dr. David Matsumoto, in which he briefly covers the science behind micro-expressions and how emotions are universal. Another source to learn about using micro-expressions is to watch the show Lie to Me, which has been cancelled but can be found on Netflix.
Nier, J. A. (2009). Taking sides: Clashing views in social psychology (3rd Ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.