On psychological tests, chronic liars do show evidence of a neurological imbalance. They have highly developed verbal skills combined with slight impairment in the frontal lobes of the brain, which critically examine what we're saying.
One psychiatrist who studied pathological liars in the early 1900's described what he called a "double consciousness" in which a person runs two narratives in their head, a desired life and an actual one, with the former often overwhelming the latter.
We all daydream. We all buffer ourselves against painful truths and massage the past. The pathological liar's biggest violation may be simply in taking those private deceptions public.
How Do You Spot a Liar?
Detecting Deception is no easy task. Today you find out how to spot a liar.
There are different kinds of deception and there are different degrees of deception.
Some kinds of deception like omission occur when someone doesn't tell you something that is important. They leave it out.
"I was at the bar last night honey." Vs. "I was at the bar last night honey and then I met this woman and ...."
There are also errors of commission.
"This car has never been in a car accident." (It actually has...twice.)
The first key point you need to understand is that not all lies are evident in nonverbal behavior. There are ZERO clues or cues for many lies.
Some people are good liars. Some people are pathological liars. Some people rehearse what their "story" will be over and over so it comes naturally.
Other times when people lie, there ARE cues and clues.
There are a number of things I look for when I think someone might be deceiving me.
The most important cue is usually expressed by their feet.
People generally have no trouble controlling their torso, even their hand gestures and sometimes facial changes. But one thing that is hard to pay attention to for the "liar" is feet!
When communicating with someone, I gain a sense for how their feet normally move in conversation. When someone deceives, their feet "behave" differently. That's my best and probably most reliable cue.
Next up, I watch pupil changes. Some people's pupils get bigger; some people's get smaller. I'm not so concerned about the direction of the size (bigger vs. smaller). I'm interested that there is or is NOT a change.
The third thing I look for are expressions of boredom, indifference, and unconcern. These are tough states to fake for most people because they are typically unaware of their behavior. In young people, this collection of vocal and nonverbal cues is even more obvious to the body language clue reader.
The "liar" will try and look indifferent, but because they aren't used to behaving indifferent they are trying to guess what they are acting like. Unfortunately for them, it's usually a dead giveaway.
If people stumble over their words, or repeat phrases or words - when this is not their normal behavior, this is a pretty useful "tell", as well.
On the other hand, if someone is on trial in the Kevin Hogan Mind Court...there are some things that I look for to find "innocent".