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How To Spot A Liar According To Harvard


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We usually assume that behaviour involving someone avoiding eye contact and fidgeting is an indication of the fact that others are not being truthful and honest. Though, a professor at Harvard Business School named Amy Cuddy thinks differently. She believes that there is not a single nonverbal behaviour which is a dead giveaway. The psychologist is reported to have mentioned in her book called Presence that the ideal method to spotting deception is to search for differences in more than one channel of communication such as speech, posture and expressions. This is opposed to usual way of searching for a significant reveal.

Cuddy believes that lying is not easy. One attempts to tell a tale and keep the truth a secret which is quite complicated. Such people often go through psychological guilt for doing something like this. The fact that they attempt to suppress this as well only adds to the pressure. Managing all of this without anything going awry is really an uphill task, which explains why lies eventually get caught. The ideal way to catch them is to concentrate on the differences between claims and actions of those who are claiming something. Emotions that conflict with one another such as a pleasant tone coupled with an angry expression on the face is a clear contradiction.

Fact is that most people are poor at catching liars. They can identify lies partially better compared to people merely guessing. Cuddy is of the view that people excessively focus on what is being said rather than the match between their claims and actions. In her study, Cuddy referred to a study by Nancy Etcoff who is also a Harvard psychologist. It suggests that people who suffer from a language processing disorder are much better at identifying liars compared to those who do not experience such a disability. The implied reason for this is that they are not distracted by the words that come out of their mouths.

Cuddy mentioned that we strive so much on identifying the indications of truth or deception that we excessively concentrate on words and miss the non verbal aspects that matter much more. She went on to state: “Truth reveals itself more clearly through actions than it does through our words.”

Also Read: High-sugar Diet Is ‘As Damaging To The Brain As Extreme Stress Or Abuse’, Study Finds.

Hassan Aftab

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