Washington D.C.: A team of researchers have developed a clearer understanding of how we tell lies and how our deceptions can be detected.
Lead author Chris Street from the University of Huddersfield said it has traditionally been said we should trust our hunches and unconscious knowledge of body language to detect whether someone is lying or not, but this study suggests people are better off consciously relying on a single "cue" to tell if someone's nose is growing, such as whether or not a person is "plainly thinking hard."
To analyse how people lie to the most accurate extent possible, Street developed an experiment, in which participants were not aware they were taking part in an analysis at all.
The filmed interviews gave researchers a bank of material showing how people behave when they are lying. The material will be made available to other researchers in what is still a relatively new field of human lie detection.
"There has been a push in the literature suggesting that indirect lie detection works and the reason is that it is unconscious - so people should not be making reasoned judgments but relying on their gut feeling, but if our account is correct, that is a very bad way to go, said Dr. Street.
Instead, Dr Smith's research revealed, it is better "focus on the content of the tale people are selling us, and asking if it is consistent with other facts we know." His research also debunked the theory liars are more anxious than truth tellers.
The results are published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.