Imagine your a police officer and you are interviewing a suspect. You have the fifth amendment being thrown at you left, right and centre. Those two words, “no comment”. They show lack of cooperation and to you, its like being hitting a brick wall repeatedly. Research over the last several years has shown that actually humans soak up a huge amount of non verbal communication rather than verbal communication. This is done subconsciously. Non verbal communication is also referred to as body language, and to be honest the truth is written all over our faces. The emotions we feel arent always what we speak, but are rather what we show. Whether micro or macro these expressions show how we feel. No doubt this will also be expressed during the police interview from both the interviewer who is likely to be expressing anger and rage, and the interviewee who is likely to be expressing, shame and or guilt.
While i could write pages and pages about how we can detect deception non verbally. I suppose the best way to begin is to get the verbal signs out of the way and in this weeks article thats exactly what i propose to do. When we lie we all go through the same physiological changes, our heart rate increases, pores begin to open, palms get sweaty etc etc, i could go on all year about the physiological changes. However, a polygraph or also known as a lie detector does not detect directly whether or not an individual is lying. It merely detects the physioligical changes in the person while answering the questions. For example, lets say im doing the lie detector test, and im being interviewed by a guy mid 40s for the baseline questions to get a read on when i have no physiological reaction. Example question…. Am i writing for Social Student currently? The answer to that question will be yes and i will show no physiological reaction. Base line achieved etc etc. But lets say the interviewer then decided to go for a break and some hot woman comes in early twenties. I am already going through physiological changes when this woman enters the room and then she asks me the same question. However, this time my heart rate has increased, and my palms are sweaty, pupils dilated. The machine would say i am lying whereas we all know that what i was indeed saying was the truth. So technically a polygraph test is only as good as the interviewer and the questions that they ask.
So to get to the verbal indicators on whether or not someone is deceiving you. There are plenty, so much so that it seems daft not to realise. Some of you will be sitting here after reading this and thinking i cant believe i didn’t notice that. There will also be a proportion of you, yes the lying bastards of you out there, that will be thinking ive used this when lying in the past.
I think for the majority of this article today we will be looking at predator mode and convincing rather than conveying. Two concepts that will already no doubt have your brain on the go. So Predator Mode. This is what i’ve named it, many psychologists have called this something else. Verbally this is one of the classic indicators that someone is being deceptive by their words. If a person feels like the facts are not on their side they are likely to feel trapped with no way to turn. For example, if i ask my best friend did you kiss my wife? The chances are im going to get something like “No, of course not”, or “I would never do that”. The responses would be quick and immediate, which are the signs of truthful responses. However, a guilty person may feel that there is a reason for asking such a question and no the facts that they have actually kissed my wife are not favouring them. So what can they do in their defence. Well throughout history we have been told that a good defence is a good offence. And so as the mammals that we are we instinctively go into predator mode. We attack the questioner, with anger so that it prevents the questioner from asking further questions. This can be deceptive.
This is just one of so many. However, the most powerful indicator is the convincing rather than the conveying. Have you ever gone to someone and asked them about something important, directly and then they have given you answers like “Would i ever do that to you”….. or “really this is me we are talking about”……. “i am a man of god, i would never steal”. Likelihood is that they indeed are being deceptive. Research shows that 90% of the people that answer with a convincing statement directly to a question are lying. Interesting as it is, this is because they have an inability to convey the truth, as the truth is against them in this situation. “Did you say this about me?”, rather than a simple truthful no, you get “This is me we are talking about here, i would never do that to you”. Why would someone truthful be trying to convince you about who they are?!! Truth is they are not sure of it themselves which is exactly why they are trying to convince both you and themselves about the kind of person which they should be. Convincing statements as research have shown are extremely powerful verbally and they can win people over instantly. Have your guard up however, when someone says something like that to you. 90% of the time, they are being deceptive.
More next weeek…..