So just how good are you at lying? According to a new study published by Frontiers in Cognitive Science, you only need 20 minutes of practice and a lot of brainpower to pull off a lie.
"After a short time of training, people can be very efficient at lying," says Xioaqing Hu, the study's co-author. "The difference between lying and being honest has been eliminated after the training." While practice can make lies perfect, liars beware. There are still ways to find out if a person is lying.
While liars may genuinely believe their bluffs, their bodies may unravel the real truth. For instance, when I confronted a friend about a book that went missing under her care, she began biting her lips and fidgeting in her chair -- telltale signs of a lie. According to Discovery, these are only some of the nervous ticks that arise from lie-telling; people may also clear their throat, adjust clothing, or brush their hair.
The amount of eye contact the liar makes with his or her victim is also a dead giveaway, but a lack of eye contact doesn't necessarily indicate guilt.
"One of the biggest body language myths about liars is that they avoid eye contact," says Carol Kinsey Goman, a body language expert and Forbes contributor. "In fact, many liars, especial the most brazen, may actually overcompensate (to prove that they are not lying) by making too much eye contact and holding it too long."
But what level of eye contact is normal or abnormal? Simple: If the person is maintaining eye contact that is atypical of the person's usual behavior, he or she may be hiding a lie.
When confronted with a question, most truth-tellers respond bluntly without saying elaborate sentences or stammering over the question. For liars, however, they're not as lucky. They often ramble, use long qualifiers, or reword the question in a way that allows them to answer without actually answering the question. This almost always indicates deceit, especially if the person does not usually talk elaborately.
Don't forget other signs of lie-telling, including claiming to be a person of God, having selective memory, and attacking the questioner are also serious signs of deceit.
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