How to tell if someone is lying
Despite the prevailing use of polygraph testing in some national intelligence agencies, law enforcement departments and businesses, there is no evidence that the tests work.
A lie is a verbal statement that is supposed to be false. Whilst there are many reasons as to why people lie, all lying has the intention to mislead. As such, it is generally viewed as wrong. But, the theory behind polygraph testing is incorrect as there is no evidence to support the theory that there is a pattern of observable responses which are unique to deception.
You might scratch your nose when asked a question because you have hay fever. You might avoid your interrogator’s gaze because you lack social skills. However, many polygraphers do secure admissions because they ask good questions in the proper sequence. Or, the subject is convinced that the polygraph machine does work.
6 ways to identify a liar
- Research the subject and their employer to gather some background intelligence.
- When meeting the subject, put them at ease. Observe how they behave in a relaxed environment.
- Ask some personal and non-commercial intrusive questions about themselves that they have no reason to lie about.
- Ask some questions about which you know the answers but the information is negative. See how they answer the questions and whether they are lying or being untruthful. You want to create a comparison between their answers when they are truthful and when they are not.
- During your questioning, look for clusters of possible indicators such as- avoiding the answer, head shaking, legs pointed away from the body or overreacting.
- An effective technique used by successful interrogators is to ask a sequence of SKY questions. This refers to: S (whom do you suspect?); K (whom do you know did it?) and Y (did you do it?). Give the subject an opportunity to elaborate about their answers.
To become a human lie detector and prevent being ripped off, attend one of our courses and know how to detect deception.
H.E.A.T. tip: As a professional interrogator, confirm with the subject that their version of events is totally accurate. Then, ask them to tell you the same story but backwards. If the subject is lying, you will notice inconsistencies and indicators of deception.