Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Body Language of Liars

"Detecting deception is really about looking for discomfort at three critical junctures in an inquiry.
  • The first is when the person first hears the question and how they respond to hearing that question (is there comfort or discomfort). 
  • The second part has to do with how they process that information, how long they take to answer it, and how troubled they are to think about the answer. 
  • The third phase has to do with how they answer the question; are there speech errors, hesitation, vocal inflections indicative of distress, discomfort displays or lack of emphasis. 
In all three of these critical phases, depending how well the question is formulated and asked, we have an opportunity to assess for comfort and discomfort."

"Having laid this information out, I would caution that the best we can say, unless we actually know the truth, is this: if the person did poorly in all three areas (hearing, processing, and answering the question), there are likely issues there that need to be explored because their behavior, lacking so much discomfort, is suggestive, but not conclusive of deception.

I would be reluctant to call someone a liar merely because they respond poorly in all three areas, but I would certainly pursue the topic further to see what caused this behaviour."

These are the words of Joe Navarro, a former FBI Counterintelligence Agent and the author of a fascinating book; "What Every Body is Saying."

For additional articles, look on his web site; or follow him on Twitter: @navarrotells @navarrotells

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