How do you know if someone is lying? This computer program has identified 6 key mannerisms to watch out for


If I haven’t learned anything else from watching countless movies involving high-stakes poker games, it’s because everyone has a “say” – a sort of tick that indicates if they’re bluffing (and , therefore, might tell others when to go all in or when to fold, as long as they are smart enough to spot it). But in the real world, how do you spot a liar? Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a computer program that does just that – and while humans remain incredibly poor lie detectors, perhaps we could get some advice from this nifty software.

Researchers studied around 120 video footage to identify body language and verbal choices used by people who were lying. The video clips included both YouTube videos of people interviewed for their opinions on specific films and actual trial footage. In the case of the interview clips, the data came from people who were asked what they thought of movies that didn’t actually exist; footage from the trial, meanwhile, showed both people who lied while testifying and people who did not. Some of the images are from The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization that aims to exonerate those wrongly convicted.

The fact that the study used real-world imagery, the press release notes, is what sets it apart from other lie research. Principal researcher Rada Mihalcea, who teaches computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, said: “In lab experiments, it’s hard to create an environment that motivates people to really lie. The stakes are not high enough. We can offer a reward if people know how to lie well – paying them to convince another person that something wrong is true. But in the real world, there is real motivation to cheat.

The video clips were used to train computer software – and once the training was completed, the program was accurate at identifying liars 75 percent of the time. How does this compare to other lie detection methods? The computer program of researchers at the University of Michigan is significantly more accurate than human lie detectors, which only have a 50% pass rate, but if we’re talking about good old-fashioned polygraph tests, it is a little more complicated. The American Polygraph Association quotes an accuracy rate of 90%; However, critics say there is little to no evidence that polygraphs are actually capable of detecting lies. As the American Psychological Association notes, the physical symptoms measured by a polygraph – heart rate / blood pressure, respiration, and skin conductivity – are probably not unique to deception, so to say that the changes they undergo mark with certainty. whether someone is lying or not. is a pretty big jump. Additionally, Quartz points out that some polygraphs only have an accuracy rate of 56% for innocent people. Uh … yuck.

Either way, this software seems like a pretty big breakthrough in the world of lie detection. Of course, the tricky part is that behaviors that indicate a liar can also be used as those that tell the truth; they are not exclusive to dishonest people. But according to the software analysis, these habits are more likely to be displayed by someone telling you a big lie:

1. Speak with their hands

According to the study, 40% of liars used to do a lot of gestures with both hands, while only 25% of those who spoke the truth did the same. This can be bad news for people who naturally tend to talk a lot with their hands. (It would be me).

2. Strong eye contact

Here’s a big problem: 70% of liars looked directly at the interrogator. While it’s true that a lot of those who tell the truth have done it too – 60% – it’s still something to pay attention to.

3. Nod of the head

Apparently, people who often nod their heads might be lying. It is clear that these kittens are not trustworthy.

4. Frowning

30 percent of liars scowled or grinned all over their face, while only 10 percent of truth tellers did.

5. Filler words like “Um”

It makes sense when you think about it. It may also be worth considering what charge your potential liar is using; according to some research, “um” indicates that a longer pause is about to occur, while “uh” is reserved for shorter ones.

6. Third person pronouns

Rather than the first person. Liars were more likely to use pronouns like “he” and “she” than “I” or “we”; the effect of this choice of language keeps liars away from action.

So there you have it: how to spot a liar, scientifically speaking. Now go ahead and use your powers for good.


Gordon K. Morehouse