The Holy Grail of criminal psychology
Again, it is beneficial that we learn the truth and not be lied to. The exciting thing is: The detection of lies is something like the Holy Grail of criminal psychology.
For the simple reason that there is no Pinocchio factor. Nobody grows a long nose because he lies. In addition, there is no single feature in the behavior and the appearance of a person that is a truly clear reference to a lie - unless the content can be contradictory.
There are no clear indications
Anyone who says that there are clear lying signals in humans, either has no idea of the matter, is misinformed or lies itself. There is certainly valid evidence of a lie, but there is nothing clear.
When looking for signals for lies or truth, one thing is particularly important: The setting - the situation and the environment in which the person is, who makes a statement, is crucial.
Why torture brings nothing
We all know the typical crime film examples that make us believe that building a certain amount of pressure on an interrogated person helps and ultimately elicits the truth.
The fact that this is not the case was not least proven by the brutal interrogation methods in Guantanamo Bay, which elicited fewer truths than hoped for from the prisoners. Often building pressure even leads to an opposite effect.
Because what the search for the truth is about: getting people to start talking on their own - pressure build-up and a quick, aggressive approach usually lead to ineffective information.
Recognize lies on eye movement?
On TV, in the media in general and in books, false theses and alleged knowledge about the possibilities of detecting lies are repeatedly spread. Many just do not vote.
So for many years the theory went around that lies can be identified by means of certain eye movements. This conviction has lasted for a long time, even at detective agencies and occasionally even at the police. Eye movements or line of sight do not allow statements to be made about the evaluation of truth and falsehood. However, other features that well allow conclusions to be drawn about truth or lies could, however, be identified.
Warning signals for possible lies
Some of these warning signals for possible lies are presented here. Roughly speaking, there are basically three areas that can be used to assess whether there is at least an indication that a person is telling the truth or not.
The first area contains verbal utterances, that is, what is really said. The second is the so-called micro expressions, and the third is the gestures and body language of a person.
What are micro expressions?
What we call micro expressions or microexpressions today is based on the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), the facial movement coding system, first published in the year 1978 by the American psychology professor Paul Ekman and his colleague Wallace Friesen.
Ekman had been dealing with the subject of emotions for a long time. Related to this was the question of whether emotions are something we learn during our childhood or if emotions are innate.
Feelings through facial muscles recognize
With this questioning, he began to capture emotions in different cultures in different parts of the world. He developed a special system for detecting feelings based on facial muscle movements.
The theory behind it was that if these emotional expressions are the same in all regions of the world, it speaks for a universal basis and thus that emotions are innate. As it turned out, there are indeed basic emotions that are expressed the world over and are part of our biological makeup. It is believed that these emotions were also part of the early communication when man could not speak yet.
Warning signs on the face
For example, the expression of disgust is a warning signal to others. Similarly, it looks like the expression of anger, which makes it clear that the opposite is currently in an angry state and you better keep your distance. But the basic emotions are not always just warnings - they also include laughter, which has a positive social function.
We now know that micro-expressions of a human are very difficult to influence or even suppress. They therefore provide a means to discover a discrepancy between a statement and the actual feeling. However, people who are only really well-trained and familiar with the subject succeed in doing so. Above all, the term "micro" stands for the fact that these emotions can hardly be read in a face for a second.
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