Spot the lie

2009-10-22 08:08

What’s it about:
Dr Cal Lightman is an expert on body language and, with the help of his team at The Lightman Group, he assists the police and government agencies by advising them when people are lying or telling the truth.

Pinocchio’s nose grew every time he told a lie, but in real life it’s much harder to tell if someone is lying - unless you’re Dr Cal Lightman, who is like a human lie detector in the new series Lie to Me. For him people are as easy to read as Pinocchio.

Cal, played by Reservoir Dogs star Tim Roth, helps the FBI solve difficult cases by analysing facial expressions (micro expressions, as he calls them) and body language to determine if someone is lying. The series is based on the real-life scientific discoveries of psychologist Paul Ekman, so get ready to learn a few tricks as you enjoy the show.

“Emotions look the same whether you’re a suburban housewife or a suicide bomber. The truth is written all over your face,” Cal tells a group of people in the first episode, after showing them a video recording of his interrogation of a suspect.

Here are some easy giveaways to tell when people are lying, according to Cal:

1. Watch the eyes
People tend to think that breaking eye contact when recalling a story is a sure sign of a lie, but not so. “That is a myth,” Cal explains. “Breaking eye contact to recall a story is a sign of honesty.” He says most liars will deliberately try to keep eye contact the whole time when talking to you.

2. The nose knows
Your nose starts to itch when you’re telling a lie, so liars tend to rub their noses.

3. Check the hands
Cal makes a point of shaking a suspect’s hand to check if it is cold after an interrogation session. “People’s body temperature tends to drop when they tell a lie. The blood rushes to the legs as if you’re getting ready to run,” he says.

4. Test the story
 If you think someone is lying, ask them to retell their version of events backwards. Cal explains, “If the person is telling the truth, it won’t be difficult, but for a liar it’s harder to recall a story that hasn’t happened.”

Lie To Me Season 1 is currently airing on Fridays on M-Net at 20:00. Repeat in on Mondays on M-Net at 17:00.

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The lead character in M-Net's new series, Lie To Me, explains just how to spot a liar. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

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