Deception Detection

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The book, Spy the Lie, is about deception detection.  It covers common behavioral traits found in people when they lie.

The first section of the book talks about behavioral myths.  There are no automatic signs of deception.  People’s behavior will change based on a number of reasons, so it is important to know the context of each behavior.

The second section of the book, looks at common communication and behavioral patterns of people who are being deceptive.  However, it is important to keep in mind that things are not always what they seem and context matters.

The following are signs of deception:

  1.  Failure to answer
  2. Absence of an explicit denial
  3. Statements that fail to answer the question
  4. Inconsistent statements
  5. Going into attack mode
  6. Overly specific answers
  7. Process or procedural complaints
  8. Failure to understand a simple question
  9. Selective Memory
  10. Qualifiers

7 thoughts on “Deception Detection

  1. Trying to quantify honesty based on physiological and verbal responses is a tricky game. I remember talking with a psychologist while doing a job skills evaluation, and she said I showed signs of lying because I would look away (in that case out a window) and pause before answering her questions. I was incredulous, and tried explaining that I always did this with important questions. I don’t like saying the first thing they pops into my mind, and I treat serious questions with respect. I want to try to understand what the questioner means, how I feel and think about my answer, and how best to phrase it. These are not signs of deception, they are, in fact, the exact opposite. I take what people say very seriously. I know that when I pause before answering it can often make the questioner uneasy, as if, perhaps, he or she said something wrong. However, for me, it’s an opportunity to carefully weigh the question and give an answer that is neither facile nor false. Sadly, most people equate immediate answers with veracity, when, in fart, they could not be more incorrect.

    I’m not saying the ideas behind the book are wrong, merely that they are not exhaustive. Whenever we create a framework that explains this phenomenon or that, we also immediately limit our ability to understand things that don’t fit our pre-defined parameters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree. I sometimes sit with my arms crossed, because I find it comfortable. I may be very relaxed at the time. However, a strict interpretation of my body language would say I am being closed off and not cooperative.

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