How to Spot A Liar

Detecting Deception is no easy task. Today you find out how to spot a liar.

There are different kinds of deception and there are different

degrees of deception.

Some kinds of deception like omission occur when someone

doesn’t tell you something that is important. They leave it out.

“I was at the bar last night honey.”


“I was at the bar last night honey and then I met this woman


There are also errors of commission.

“This car has never been in a car accident.”

(It actually has…twice.)

The first key point you need to understand is that not all lies

are evident in nonverbal behavior. There are ZERO clues or cues

for many lies.

Some people are good liars. Some people are pathological liars.

Some people rehearse what there “story” will be over and over so

it comes naturally.

Other times when people lie there ARE cues and clues.

There are a number of things I look for when I think someone

might be deceiving me.

The most important cue is usually expressed by their feet.

People generally have no trouble controlling their torso, even

their hand gestures and sometimes facial changes. But one thing

that is hard to pay attention to for the “liar” is feet!

When communicating with someone I gain a sense for how their

feet normally move in conversation. When someone deceives their

feet “behave” differently. That’s my best and probably most

reliable cue.

Next up I watch pupil changes. Some people’s pupils get bigger

some people’s get smaller. I’m not so concerned about the

direction of the size (bigger vs. smaller). I’m interested that

there is or is NOT a change.

The third thing I look for are expressions of boredom,

indifference, and unconcern. These are tough states to fake for

most people because they are typically unaware of their

behavior. In young people this collection of vocal and nonverbal

cues is even more obvious to the reader.

The “liar” will try and look indifferent but because they

aren’t used to behaving indifferent they are trying to guess

what they are acting like. Unfortunately it’s usually a dead


If people stumble over their words, repeat phrases or words,

when this is not their normal behavior, this is a pretty useful

“tell” as well.

On the other hand if someone is on trial in the Kevin Hogan

Mind Court…there are some things that I look for to find


First can or does the person give a genuine smile. It is HARD

to give a real life smile when you are lying to someone.

Obviously the pathological liar can but take out the

pathological’s and you have a real actor who can genuinely smile

and lie at the same time.

Next I’m looking for “verbal immediacy.” Does the person answer

me quickly or normally? It’s tough to lie and communicate

quickly. The faster you talk the less time there is to process

information. When you’re lying it takes time to process

information to make sure the story “comes out right.” This

doesn’t mean that people who respond slowly are lying. It means

that coupled with other “innocence cues,” I become more

convinced whether someone is telling the truth or lying to me.

Most people can’t determine whether someone is lying or not

with any degree of accuracy. When crossing cultural lines it’s

even more difficult to accurately predict whether someone is

being truthful or not.

Sometimes experienced police officers show better than chance

accuracy in deception but typically most people can’t figure out

truth vs. lie more than 55% of the time.

The reason is that people are looking at the wrong things.

They look at eye contact.

Fact is that eye contact isn’t all that relevant in determining

most people are lying or telling the truth.

Another cue people look for is nervousness, and yes,

nervousness IS slightly correlated to lying but it’s also

correlated to being scared and afraid of being accused of lying!

Want to have a good guess as to whether someone is telling the

truth of lying to you?:

Record the conversation and then listen to the conversation

when you aren’t in the presence of the person. People who can’t

see the person who is talking usually are better at detecting

truth vs. lie. Why? The vocal cues are some of the strongest to

pick up on.

Because it is such a well kept secret in the nonverbal

community, there is one powerful strategy you can use to improve

your odds of detecting deception.

Liars must construct their stories in chronological order.

People who tell the truth will be all over the map.

The liar has to create a story, remember it in order and tell

it chronologically. Because there is no actual memory to recall,

they have develop a false memory.

The truth teller might often SOUND like they are lying because

they are all over the map but the fact is that is more likely to

be a sign of truth than fiction.

Ask the person what happened in REVERSE chronological order.

The liar won’t be able to do it most of the time.

Source by Kevin Hogan