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How To Spot A Liar

How To Spot A Liar


How many times do you think did you been lied to today? Go ahead and take a guess because the answer might shock you. Studies show that on the low end, that number is somewhere around ten times. And on the high end, that number could be up to two hundred times in just one day. You are being lied to constantly and what’s worse, your lie detection capabilities are definitely not 100%. In fact, studies show that they could be anywhere from 50% wrong to 75% wrong. This video is meant to put the odds back in your favor because there are things that you’re probably not taught that can help you become a human lie detector or at least a better one. And I want to cover those four things plus touch on some examples of some masterful liars getting caught in the act. So let’s start with first thing, that one that everyone wants to know, which is – what is the body language that indicates lying? Now, unfortunately, there really isn’t one thing that is going to 100% of the time telling you someone’s lying. When you’re looking to detect lying in terms of body language, what you’re looking for are tells of stress with regards to particular subject or topic. And what that means is that reading stress in the body is actually much easier than reading deception. Stress comes through in a lot of different ways and you can see it in pacifying behaviors. So that might be rubbing of the arm. If they’re sitting, you can see people rub their leg. You’ll see people start to touch right here – that’s a pacifying behaviour. And when a few people cue on their lip, cross their arms, purse their lips, (exhales) give you one of those – all of these things create a lowered, like, trying-to-call-yourself-down response and we do that in response to stress. Now, there’s one thing that is just classic when people feel stress and it’s called blocking – that means putting anything between themselves and the thing that is causing them stress. So that classic line example of blocking would be this – blocking the mouth, could be covering the eyes, or could be an object, right? And right at the time you’re asking them if they’re lying, they got to whip their phone out. Or they simply move something in between you and them on the desk. Blocking is very common and I want to show you two videos of blocking. The first one is a little boy doing some physical blocking with the hands. And the second one is a little girl moving herself in between an object to create some distance between her mom who is grilling her. Who got the paint out? Brother did? Wait, let me see that again? You didn’t do that? Speak up. Uh, I didn’t do this. You still didn’t do this? I know you did. I’m not lying. Now, I mentioned earlier that there isn’t just one body language motion that indicates a lie. But actually, there is one that comes close and it is the micro-expression of a smile within a story that otherwise doesn’t warrant a smile and this is called “duping delight” and what this is… First off, a micro-expression is when some sort of expression registers on someone’s face for less than a second and is quickly contained. And the reason that this happens is that the part of your brain that is responsible for emotions – happy, sad, whatever it is – that moves a fraction of a second faster than the part of your brain that is responsible for lying. So when you tell a lie, there’s actually this visceral joy in getting away and getting what you want which registers for a second as a smile but then the part of your brain telling a lie kicks in and goes, “Don’t do that,” and quickly shuts it down. So it looks something, I’ll try my best, like this – you finish the storyÖ Öand then people often purse their lips. So I want to show a quick example of that and better than I can do which is, again, another young girl master liar here whoÖ the context of this is that she wants attention from her mother and for months and months and months, she has pretended to have these crippling foot cramps so that her mom will come rub her feet and give her attention. Pay attention to her face as soon as her mom starts to touch her feet and she gets what she wants. Oh, Teddy, can you give it a rest, hon, please? Let’s play cards. Can you rub my feet? If you start to see some tells of stress and maybe some duping delight on someone’s face, you’re going to want to follow-up with them verbally and ask very directly, “Hey, did you do that thing that I asked you not to do?” and in this case, you want to listen very carefully to their verbal response because people don’t like to lie. And the third thing that will help you catch a liar is that they often redirect direct questions to some other topic or they half-answer them. For instance, if I go up to someone and I say, “Hey, did you take my money?” they might respond by saying, “Oh my god, I’m not that kind of a person” or “how could you even ask that of me?” and then pull out their phone and immediately block, right? These sorts of things are called redirects. Do they immediately indicate guilt? Absolutely not but what we find in liars is that they try to tell as much of the truth as possible until they are pushed to the brink. Will they flat out lie? Absolutely. But sometimes, they’ll even add qualifiers on the end of their denials. So I say, “Hey, did you take my money?” they’ll go, “No I didn’t take your money out of your wallet,” when really, they took money off of the kitchen table or whatever it was. So, I’ve got another video here. The context is that there’s this young boy who has clearly made a mess and his dad asked, “Did you? Who did this?” and he answers a completely different question. It seems exaggerated but the truth is kids have the same strategies as adults. We are just better at masking them and telling more elaborate stories. Stretching. You know what happened? I just stretched. You were stretching? Uh-huh. How did this cabinet fall? I can put it back up. How did it fall? I can put it back up. How did it fall? I can put it back up there. I believe you but what happened? So at this point, let’s say that you’ve seen the tell, maybe you’ve seen that duping delight. When asked, they’ve said, “How could you even ask that of me?” Now you’re kind of put in a pickle. So when it comes down to it, you can always go with the, “Listen, I’m having a hard time understanding what happened. Can you tell me?” And then the fourth thing that you’re looking for is to see if this person can recreate the events of what actually happened out of sequential order. Liars, whether their making it up on the spot or they’ve rehearsed it, often have done this before and they’ve done it chronologically so it can make sense chronologically. But when you ask them, “So wait a second, how is the money over here at the end” and then “when did you walk in to the room?” and “what happened later?” When you take them out of order, you can oftentimes trip them up. So, of course, another little example of fun one here which is really easy to bust because he’s a five-year old boy. Here’s a boy who took cookies out of the cookie jar and blamed it on the dog. And watch as this story unravels as different elements don’t add up. Did she get the cookies upstairs? Um… I don’t know. I wasn’t watching her. How did she open the lid? Unless they would really, see, opened it with their teeth. She opened the lid with her teeth ó Yeah. ó when she ate some cookies? How did she put the lid back on? She jumped on it. She jumped on a bowl of cookies to put the lid back on. So there you have it. That is how to spot a master liar of any age. Now, obviously I had some fun picking out the videos today. They entertain me and I hope they entertain you as well. But the truth is kids and adults lie in the same way. So the same four things that I gave you today will work across the age group. First off, you’re paying attention for any sort of pacifying or blocking behaviour with regards to a specific subject. If it differs from their baseline and all of a sudden they start blocking or pacifying, pay more attention. Second, duping delight – that is the quick flash and then the containment of a smile with a story that shouldn’t have a smile on it. Third, difficulty and outright denying that they did something wrong. Any sort of verbal jiu-jitsu, that means you need to dig deeper. And then of course, fourth, you’re paying attention to see if they can reconstruct their version of events outside of chronological order. If they think about it here, it’s fine but it needs to make a logical consistent sense. So, I hope that you guys have enjoyed this video and maybe we’ll start detecting some of those two hundred lies that you might be hearing every single day. If you’ve enjoyed this one, go ahead and make sure to subscribe to the channel. We have tons of videos on how to boost your charisma, your confidence and of course, your ability to read social situations. So if you never want to miss one of those, click Subscribe and you’ll see us on your homepage every single week. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this video and I look forward to seeing you in the next one.

100 thoughts on “How To Spot A Liar

  1. So this channel is mostly just you making educated guesses based on the psych class you took for one semester?

  2. It should also be mentioned that sometimes signs of stress can exist in honest people with mental illnesses/disorders or survivors of abuse. Especially on survivors of abuse because victims of abuse are typically punished for things they didn’t do. That isn’t always the case, but it’s worth keeping in mind.

  3. I love your videos and have shared them with many! 🙂 My father and grandfather were polygraph examiners. Growing up with it, I would tell you that responses to lying covered in this video don't indicate what you think. People have misunderstood and misused polygraph for years because of a similar lack of understanding.

    These responses you mention do not indicate lying, they indicate feeling defensive in regards to a question. The defensiveness could be because they're lying, but it could simply mean that they're feeling attacked by your question or guilt related to the situation. Even if they're telling the truth, they may feel some guilty or responsibility for what happened. For example, in the video with the little girl with the marker on her hand, she may not have drawn it herself, but she may have allowed her sister to do it. So… when the mom asks, "did you do this?", she may honestly be able to say "no", but she was complicit in allowing it to happen so her uncomfortable responses may be perceived as if she's lying.

    This is why a polygraph exam cannot detect if you were lying, it can only show that you have an absence of uncomfortable responses – meaning that you're telling the truth. If that little girl was getting a test, you would run the test asking the question "did you do this?". When you say the "discomfort" responses, you would stop the test, tell her that she seemed uncomfortable when you asked that question, ask her about any extraneous related information, then re-run the test and preface the question with, "Other than what you've already told me, did you do this?"

    Understanding this, you can see why the polygraph exam is only as good as the examiner and their line of questioning. You must be 100% clear and make sure that the examinee 100% understands exactly what you're asking with every specific question. You cannot ask them vague general questions and expect to get real results.

    The only two outcomes of a polygraph exam are "cleared" and "deception indicated". There's no such thing as "pass" or "fail".

    Police have never actually administered polygraph exams – they hook people up to the machine and try to berate them into a confession, telling them that the machine shows they're "lying". That is NOT a valid polygraph exam and is what gave the real examiners in the field a horrible wrap.

  4. I exhibit most of these behaviours most of the time for no reason. I can see why people don't trust me even though I don't like lying outside of pranking or joking with people.

  5. Stress might simply mean that they know that the honesty of the answer is important. Detecting stress doesn't detect a lie; and people claiming that it does, I'm sorry to say, are lying. Also, people also smile when they're uncomfortable. Maybe they think you're asking a rude question, and so a smile slips in because they're subconsciously trying to avoid conflict. Perhaps they haven't decided how to respond, they might smile in that moment. That's the same moment that you're accusing them of lying.

  6. this must have been so much fun making!!!
    i wonder if someone did lie to me today
    i only talked to two people xd

  7. So I do a lot of these things when my boyfriend confronts me about stuff, but I'm not lying. I'm just honestly sick of the paranoia.
    I know a liar would say "I'm not lying" but he goes through my phone and asks "why does Google maps timeline say you're missing activity?" And why does your Google maps timeline say you were at the house across the street?" I don't have answers for this. After investigating, I realized my Google timeline was missing activity because it didn't know if I was driving, walking, or taking public transit. Next, I looked at the times I was "at the house across the street" (really Google timeline asked "were you here?" And listed that address) and it said like 6 am, 10 pm. Times when I was clearly at home, next to him, or taking care of our daughter (visible on the baby camera).
    I can't believe I have to go this far just to prove that I'm not running around behind his back. Smh

  8. Weird. I have moments where I smile because I know people think I'm lying when I'm not. I just keep laughing though.

  9. After watching this I feel like i know when to look for,maybe i can have a better read on a someone's poker face….wait what are the signs if someone is definitely telling time truth ??

  10. When you listen to Donald Trump, Kelly Anne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders all in one day, you can get lied to 600 times.

  11. I looooove that you chose kids to show this human inner actions. Typically kids are so biasly and aggressively protected from any negative side to humans but they are humans in the rawest realest form. As in also perfect duplicates of their adults or unfiltered human response resources. This video is word for word perfect and very on point.

  12. I don’t lie very often. I am honest to a fault. It saves time and has other benefits. The main problem with this, though, is that my tendency to be honest makes me think that others are the same way. I’m very trusting and I can’t read people at all. Thank you for this video

  13. I once asked a (now ex) girlfriend who drove her home from the bar, and I knew it wasn't our mutual friend, and when she started talking about the dog hiding the cookies… it only took me a few more months to catch on.

  14. I luv learning how to read body language if you do like me there a show that I enjoyed called "Lie to Me". The show is based on Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, a brilliant expert in the science of body language scientist, especially microexpressions, and founder of The Lightman Group, a private company that operates as an independent contractor to assist investigations of local and federal law enforcement through applied psychology. Though often confronted by people's skepticism, Lightman uses any technique he deems necessary to reach the truth, however elaborate or confronting. The character is based on Dr. Paul Ekman, a psychologist, an expert on body language and facial expressions at the University of California, San Francisco. Nevertheless, in the 1990s, Paul Ekman expanded his list of emotions, including a range of positive and negative emotions not all of which are encoded in facial muscles. These emotions are amusement, embarrassment, anxiety, guilt, pride, relief, contentment, pleasure, and shame. When you take Psych 101 in college you'll hear about him, he is a legend among experts.

  15. As a parent of 2
    I realised that asking who spilled the milk . When I know who spilled the milk.
    Was training my daughter to be dishonest.
    Not only that but I was being dishonest in my question.
    Because what I really wanted to know is why she didn't pay attention and clean her mess on her own.
    So as I said loudly my question of ((WHO SPILLED THE MILK!))
    I stopped my daughter from what she was going to say and said don't answer that question.
    Instead just please pay attention to what you are doing and clean up after your self.

  16. Наивный американец. он не встречался никогда с профисиональными россиянскими пиздаболами. которые никакого стресса не испытывают когда пиздят. а порой даже сами себе уже верят.

  17. 5:09 oof ive done this. Not exactly add qualifiers but rather worded their question differently so that i was technically not lying. I also sometimes dance around the truth so they assume i meant something when really i never said it

  18. Problem is, when I start asking questions they start telling me that I'm "nit picking", and they shut down. Not sure how I'm supposed to deal with that…

  19. You should specify. I have anxiety and I'm a naturally nervous person. I do blocking etc. But am also fundamentally opposed to lying about anything.

  20. through the lessons this boy has taught, it is my educated guess that he is lying through this whole video. You crafty so and so

  21. This was worth watching just to be reminded of the clip of the 2 boys that 'got into' the paint. It would've been great if you'd put a link to that clip. Saw it yrs ago, but too funny not to look at again.
    I frequently look like I'm lying I expect due to my PTSD & anxiety. Makes it impossible to report a crime. My nose actually starts itching too, but I've since learned from an FBI 'expert' that scratching the nose isn't a good way to tell. People can be experiencing stress for all sorts of reasons, so I expect stress is a good indicator in general, but not always.

  22. You miss the only actual universal tell.
    Slower than normal communication.

    Telling the truth is trivial, you don't need to keep track of anything particular, just tell the stuff as you remember it.
    Lying, especially about complicated things requires you to keep track of what you've said to whom and why.
    Thus, it requires you to think a bit before each sentence.

    This is troublesome for me when I need to lie because I speak quickly and without any effort most of the time, so when I lie, those 0,5 second pauses I need to take are really obvious.

  23. i have the fast way to this, be a bullshitter yourself, easy way to spot liars XD hahaha srsly tho, good vid and pretty spot on

  24. Ilhan Omar has the creepiest mid sentence smile I have ever seen….usually coming just as she is about to say something brutally offensive…

  25. I guess I am a good liar (just if I have to whcih is not often the case). I don't do any of the blocking, rubbing my arm/leg, 1-second uncontrolable emotion showing etc.
    But I lie when someone asks me how I am and I say good or fine but just because if I said not well/terrible they want to know why and I don't have enough energy for that.

  26. Once people get good at lieing, usually under continous sever stress (making them harder to read) they learn how to wrap it. In a little good about yourself: a false compliment. Your response then tells them how you like your lie: what you want to believe. Using stress leads to alot of false positives, but yes people are much more likely to lie understress. Like the video.

  27. I think the blackberries I picked lied to me about how ripe they were and my cat lied about needing hugs ..yes EVERYBODY lies even fruit

  28. Am I the only one who if asked if I was lying and confronted about it would go into elaborate specific details about where I Was, who I saw, what our relationship is which might reveal a possible motive they have , what I was doing there and when I left and where I went etc. Preceding with a "so no it wasn't me sorry" Not EVERY time obviously but I can never simply answer a "did you do…." With a plain no or one word because I want people to believe me and show them I'm not decietful

  29. So the key to getting away with lying is to always be anxious. That way people won’t be able to tell the difference.

  30. Where did those kids learn lying so professionally.

    By the way kid who saying that he can put up cabinet back trying to make up for his mistake.( He definitely did that unintentionally)

  31. The way he explained made me think whether I have ever told a truth or not. Guess am so lame at truth too…
    Honestly I am not lying…!!!

  32. people who lie habitually are insecure fearful.  It is a psychological problem and they must willingly feel help.  Let them be liars and let them hit rock bottom so they will learn their lesson.  Don't conversate with a liar.  It is hard to lie without someone listening to you,  Getting angry and calling them liars will not help.  Disassociate with them and make them give evidence to back up what they are saying.  For example If someone tells you I have been married for 20 years and I was so happily married ask for visible evidence. Make them prove that everything they saying is true and do not believe them until they show evidence.  Take it to the Lord in prayer.  Say God so and so told me this is it true.  Only have brief conversations with liars and if you can cut them off.  The Bible says do not strengthen the hands of evil doers.  If I keep listening to and believing all of your lies you will keep lying to me. Don't listen to them and don't believe them.  We cant make people stop lying but we can reject them warn them correct them.

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