Five Fascinating Facts About Lying Reply







By Chris Simmons

  1. The average person is exposed to approximately 200 lies every day. (Note: this includes white lies, lies of omission, deceptive advertising, and biased media coverage).
  2. The average person can distinguish the truth from a lie just 54% of the time.
  3. According to the job-matching firm, TheLadders, 21% of surveyed businesses reported that they’d inadvertently hired dishonest employees. Almost half of these hiring mistakes resulted from lies told by the applicant during their job interview.
  4. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners reports that fraud costs the average organization 5% of annual revenues.
  5. Seventy-eight percent of all resumes contain misleading information according to The Society of Human Resource Managers.



How Good Are You at Overcoming “Lies of Omission?” Try This “Real-Life” Test! Reply

Brenda’s Story

The incident described below actually occurred. Read Brenda’s statement carefully and then complete the practical exercise that follows her narrative.

“One night I had a visitor. It was a friend – or rather a relative. He was from out of town and he came up for the weekend. When he got to the apartment, I didn’t realize anything was wrong. I invited him into the – my apartment and gave him a mixed drink. Later on, he went back to his car and brought out beer that he had been drinking. He also had a gun that he brought into the apartment. He proceeded to get very drunk. I eventually went to sleep. When I woke up, he was very drunk and there was beer cans and beer bottles strung all around my apartment. He was smoking a cigarette and using an ashtray that was full of paper. There was also cigarette butts in my carpeting. I started raising hell and at one time I thought he was going to get violent. He started shaking me and he wouldn’t let me move. All I could think about was the gun he had brought in and I thought I was going to have to call the police to get rid of him. Finally, I just made him drink the end of his beer and I stayed up till he went to sleep. That’s it.”

In analyzing Brenda’s statement, you most likely realized elements of her storyline are missing. She is intentionally withholding information, which means her account is deceptive.

Now that Brenda has provided her story, you will need to review events with her in an effort to learn what really happened. Before continuing, you may want to review the following posts:

The Forensic Profile of a True Statement 

The Forensic Profile of a False Statement 

Lie-Spotting – It’s As Easy as “1, 2, 3” 

Questions as Verbal Tools – What’s in YOUR Toolbox? 

Now, using the “reply” icon, list at least 10 open-ended questions that could be useful in uncovering the truth. We will provide feedback on your answers to maximize the value of this exercise.

One open-ended question is already provided:

  1. You said, “I didn’t realize anything was wrong….” What did you mean?
  2. ?????

Lie-Spotting: It’s As Easy as “1, 2, 3” 1

By Chris Simmons

Spotting lies is simpler than you might imagine. Broken down to its basic structure, every narrative only has three parts: Before, During [the event] & After. In the investigative world, we call these segments Secondary Issue, Central Issue, & Secondary Issue. True stories are generally balanced, with each phase comprising about a third of the narrative. A deceptive storyline, however, almost always follows one of three patterns:

  • Central Issue only [extraordinarily short] (for example, “They broke in, stole my stuff, and left. That’s pretty much it”).
  • Short Central Issue followed by long Secondary Issue.
  • Long Secondary Issue followed by short Central Issue.

For a deceiver, keeping the Central Issue brief and vague are essential to success. In contrast, the truthful person’s narrative flows smoothly through all three Issues and is full of details.

Despite the ease of this process, knowing when you are being lied to and uncovering the truth are two totally different challenges. That said, the first step in getting to the truth is identifying the lie(s).

For more information on Statement Analysis, check out The Forensic Profile of a False Statement and The Forensic Profile of a True Statement

13 Ways a Liar Can Say “No,” But Mean “Yes” Reply

By Chris Simmons

When using the word “no” in a denial, deceptive individuals unwitting draw attention to their lie by falling into distinctive response patterns. While not fool-proof, these inadvertent behavioral cues often indicate deception:

1. The extended “No” (i.e., any “no” that lasts several seconds).
2. “No” immediately followed by defensive body language such as crossing of the arms or legs.
3. A belated “No” (in contrast to previous responses that were timely).
4. “No” followed by an extended closing of the eyes.
5. The pre-emptive “No” (when he/she answers “No” before you’ve even finished asking the question).
6. A “No” followed by a severe break in eye contact (such as 90-degree turn of the head).
7. The breathless “No.”
8. A rapid-fire “No.”
9. “No” accompanied by a vacant stare.
10. A “No” delivered with a direct, unblinking stare.
11. The repeated “No.”
12. “No” accompanied by the vigorous shaking of the head, pounding on a table, etc.
13. A “No” followed by a laugh or smirk.

The 4 “Textbook” Admissions of a Guilty Person Reply

By Chris Simmons

At some point, many of us have found ourselves in a situation where something has been broken or stolen and we need to determine who did it. In earlier posts, we’ve addressed the forensics of true and false statements, as well as the importance of nonverbal communication. That said, certain exceptions exist within these fields of practice.

One of these exceptions is guilty comments. Inevitably, this response will fall into one of three categories: undue interest, unnatural acceptance, or the exaggerated redundancy.

In the first situation, an honest person is not interested in the forthcoming punishment, because it doesn’t impact them. As such, any interest in the punitive outcome is undue since responsibility has not yet been determined.

An unnatural acceptance occurs when a person takes responsibility for an act they insist they did NOT do. A guilty party is looking for a way out (an “exit strategy”) and so it does not occur to him/her that an innocent person will generally not confess to an act they didn’t commit. Note: This response does not apply to persons with diminished mental capacities, who have been known to confess to acts in which they had no role.

The third response, the exaggerated redundancy, is simply an overstated denial reminiscent of President Richard Nixon’s famous “I am not a crook” speech.

Examples of the four “guilty comments” are:
1. “What will happen to the person…” [undue interest]
2. “I didn’t do it, but if you want, I’ll say I did…” [unnatural acceptance]
3. “I didn’t do it, but I’d be willing to pay for it…” [unnatural acceptance]
4. “If I told you I did it, I’d be lying.” [exaggerated redundancy]

The Forensic Profile of a False Statement 2

By Chris Simmons

[Note: This feature should be read in conjunction with yesterday’s post].

Like a truthful narrative, a dishonest statement has five components and is arranged in a predictable pattern. However, in a falsehood, the sequencing of the core elements is reversed and the Main Information split in half. As such, a deceitful storyline is structured like so: Start, Main Information, Minor Details, Main Information, & the End.

The splitting of the Main Information triggers the “roller coaster” effect many people experience when victimized by a lie. In this scenario, the sub-conscious mind has spotted the anomaly (i.e., a deceptive pattern) but has not yet identified the lie(s).

These behavioral cues are indicative of a false statement:

1. The deceitful interviewee will only include information relevant to the discussion (in contrast to a truthful individual, who includes extraneous data).
2. The deceiver’s narrative tends to be very concise.
3. Almost without exception, the interviewee’s body language will show clusters of deceptive behavior.
4. When the interviewee is providing the Minor Details, be aware that he/she is studying your body language to gauge whether he/she is believed. If they see signs of skepticism, they may alter the second chuck of Main Information to allow themselves a way out.

Test a suspicious story by allowing the interviewee to tell his/her account from start to finish without interruption. After a brief period, ask them to tell their story backwards. Since a dishonest tale is memorized from start-to-finish, you will detect hesitation and stalling as the interviewee replays the story in their head. The timeline will quickly fall apart as well, as items are forgotten, moved around, and occasionally — added.

NBC News: Afternoons Turn us Into Lying, Cheating, Lazy Jerks Reply

By Melissa Dahl, NBC News

Mornings are optimistic. The day is new, untouched. No one’s ruined anything yet. You head out the door, hopeful about what this day will bring, and what you’ll accomplish.

And then morning fades into afternoon. Nothing has gone the way you planned it. You get snappy, grumpy. Maybe you accidentally abandon the Excel spreadsheet you should be working on and wander over to

Mornings really are when we’re our most virtuous — and by the afternoon, exhausted by our earlier attempts at being angelic, we’re more likely to lie, cheat, or indulge in lazy behavior, new psychology research suggests.

“From the moment people wake up in the morning, daily life requires the exertion of self-control,” write the study authors, Maryan Kouchaki and Isaac Smith of Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. “In deciding what to eat for breakfast, where to go and why, or even what to say and to whom, people regulate and control their desires and impulses.

“Normal, unremarkable experiences associated with everyday living can deplete one’s capacity to resist moral temptations,” they write. “In other words, people are more likely to act ethically and to overcome temptation in the morning than later in the day.”

This new study, published this week in the journal Psychological Science, builds onto research that has suggested self-control is a finite resource. And by the afternoon, we’ve run out of it, the authors suggest.

To prove this, the researchers rounded up 62 undergrads, who signed up for either a morning session (between 8 a.m. and noon) or an afternoon session (between noon and 6 p.m.). The experiment design is a little weird, so stay with me: They showed the volunteers 100 squares that had been cut in half into two triangles. Each triangle was marked with a smattering of little dots. The participants were told to hit one button if there were more dots on the right side, and another button if there were more dots on the left. The catch: They were told they’d be paid more for hitting the button that signified there were more dots on the right side – even if they hadn’t answered honestly. And a third of the squares clearly had more dots on the left side, so it would be clear if people were cheating.

And people did cheat – especially in the afternoon session. Participants in the afternoon indicated more frequently that dots appeared on the right side than those in the morning sessions.

In another experiment, people were given the choice to read some brain food (The New York Review of Books) – or some lighter fare (People magazine). Nearly 60 percent of the volunteers in the afternoon sessions chose the People magazine – in the morning, just 40 percent of them chose People.

Translated into real life, the study suggests that we should realize this human weakness and organize our days accordingly. Difficult tasks that involve some sort of moral component should be done in the morning; leave the less complicated busy work for the afternoon, if possible, the authors suggest.

“Our message is simple yet important,” the authors write. “The morning morality effect has notable implications for individuals and organizations, and it suggests that morally relevant tasks should be deliberately ordered throughout the day.”

Wired For Sound: The Secrets of Auditory Eye Movements & Behaviors 1

By Chris Simmons

Recalling a sound-centric event triggers one of two involuntary behavioral cues known as auditory eye movements. If the individual’s eyes go down and to their left, they are remembering what they heard. If, however, they are trying to remember what they said to someone or thought (i.e., an “internal sound”), their eyes will remain level as they look to their left.

The “Communication Paradox:” How Little You Know About Life’s Most Important Skill noted how the five senses are rooted in our everyday vocabulary. For example, someone might say: “How would it sound if I told you we need to send you to Miami for two weeks? Would that be music to your ears?” He/she is clearly speaking from an auditory perspective. Thus, when asking someone for an auditory recollection, use hearing-associated words to enhance the speed and effectiveness of their memory. This also keeps you on the same “verbal highway,” reducing the risk of miscommunication.

In contrast, auditory construction (i.e., lying) is revealed when an individual’s eyes move to their right in response to an asked or anticipated question. Remember, deceptive cues manifest in a series of “behavioral tells,” so be prepared for other common signs of deceit such as changes in their narrative’s level of detail, the introduction of qualifying phrases or hedges, etc.

Additionally, a deceptive person with an auditory speech preference will often refer to previous conversations in their responses (e.g., “As I’ve told you before…”). This is a psychological form of stress relief, emotional distancing and feigned cooperation because even if he/she lied during the cited conversation, their current statement is – in fact – true. As a result, the liar is calmer and may exhibit few (if any) signs of deception because their focus is the fact that the referenced conversation occurred, not the event in question.