Deception detection uncovered: Truth seeking through interrogation – Part 1


For years, researchers have been searching for the ‘Pinocchio’s nose’ of deception. As of today, it doesn’t exist; there is no single cue indicative of deception. There is no machine, no technology nor person that can detect deception with 100% accuracy. Any claims that suggest otherwise are, in themselves, untrue. The best that we can do is identify anomalies and patterns in behaviour, physiology and voice, differentiated from baseline and emotional baseline behaviours. We then use these as potential red flags which may, or may not, be indicative of deception. How these red flags are addressed through questioning techniques and behaviour (of the investigator), is key to seeking the truth. With this approach, we can dramatically improve our rate of success during interrogation.

As a Body Language Specialist, I want to focus on the body language component of deception detection. Which behaviours should we be looking for, as indicators to dig deeper, and what should we do with our own body to create an environment conducive to seeking the truth? We will explore these concepts over two articles.

There are some nonverbal cues, that can increase when people are not telling the truth; nose touching, increased blink rate, self soothing, etc. However, these are not ‘lying cues’ in their own right, because we also do these when we are telling the truth. Generally, behaviours like these increase with, and are indicative of, stress. They are associated with lying because lying increases cognitive load significantly, therefore causing stress. Our brain does not like it when we lie, and our body reacts with behaviours and responses that can be both voluntary or involuntary. Most people under interrogation will be feeling stressed.

Where most people go wrong, is assuming deception as soon as they see nonverbal cues that they believe to be indicative of lying, such as those mentioned above. Perhaps the biggest myths I hear when talking to people about body language, are that you can tell someone is lying based on their eye direction or amount of eye contact. These are not true; let’s bust those myths right now!…Click HERE to read full article.