Pinoccho Award For Liars

We all know the fictional character Pinocchio, the poster boy of liars - his nose grew longer each time he told a lie.

Lying is an art, some people are better liars then others. I realise that some people become proficient liars because they are raised in an environment where lying is a matter of survival. Further, lying is more accepted in their culture than others - there is no shame at being caught lying.

In business, politics and romance, it would be useful to be able to tell if someone is lying to you. Unfortunately humans aren’t very good at detecting lies.

An article in the Star reveals traditional methods used to expose liars:

  • in Sarawak, the Ibans decide on who is telling the truth in a dispute, by having a cockfight. The winner of the cockfight is the one telling the truth. Apparently this is still the practice in the remote villages of Sarawak.
  • in West Africa, for instance, suspected criminals were made to pass a bird’s egg to one another. The person who breaks the egg was considered guilty (the liar), as he was the most nervous.
Short of asking a person to take a polygraph test, here are some tips from the web you can use in identifying a liar:

  • unnecessarily touching on the face, especially the mouth
  • unnecessarily touching the ears
  • talking unusually fast
  • mispronouncing words or mumbling
  • ask your subject for particulars - liars' stories often lack detail, thus if a liar has to provide details, the more likely he is to slip up
  • he averts eye contact
  • there is rise in his vocal pitch
  • ask the suspect to repeat his story, and listen for inconsistencies to ferret out lies
  • watch out for congenital liars, if you've caught a person lying to you many times in the past, he is probably lying to you this time as well

Ok guys, please post more tips on catching liars, if you know any.


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