How to Get a Baseline of Normal Behavior to Detect Lying

How to Get a Baseline - You detect deceit by reading how far from normal someone is. Therefore, you need to know what normal is for each person to discover whether he or she lying. For example you might think that all liars pause before they speak, and don’t make eye contact, but an honest person who is introverted may do that normally. You need to find out what each person's 'normal' is.
Extroverts will normally talk loud, fast, and fill up silences. Introverts will pause before they speak and speak softer and slower. Clearly, the baseline is different for introverts and extrovert. You need to determine if the person is introverted or extroverted and what their particular baseline quirks are so you know how far from normal their behavior is.
To understand how this works, let’s study an example. Imagine you are going in to buy a used car and you are talking with your salesman. You want to make sure that your car salesman is not selling you a lemon. Forget any stereotype you may have about car salesmen and get a baseline of this individual salesman. Begin by creating a framework of non-invasive questions to establish his normal, baseline behavior. Essentially you want to ask questions you are sure he would answer honestly first.

Wow! it is a scorcher out today? Is it usually this hot this time of year in Atlanta? Are you from around here? Did you have air conditioning growing up? Did you spend much time outside playing when you were growing up?
HIM: He should talk easily and comfortably about the weather and his childhood


YOU: This is not my part of town. Can you tell me some good restaurants around here? Do you have a favorite? What kind of food do they serve? What do you usually have?
HIM: tells you about his favorite place and what he likes there

So, how long have you been in business? (This is a question he would more than likely answer honestly as it can be confirmed.)
HIM: Let me tell you a little bit about my experience selling cars and how long we have been here selling cars....

YOU: Now, if I decide I want this car today, what are the steps I need to take?
HIM: Let's figure out how much you want to spend on a monthly payment....

If you noticed, these questions were fairly innocuous and nonthreatening so the car salesman has no incentive to lie. While you are listening to him tell the truth you get his baseline. If you have taken my deception detection course you have a checklist to rate the person and/or pay attention to his voice. Does he talk fast or slow? Does his voice go up or down. Look at his gestures, his mouth. Is he right handed or left handed. Get a baseline for his eye accessing cues. Where does he look when he’s describing his favorite dish? What are his hands doing as he’s talking about the temperature or his experience? Is he leaning toward or away from you? Does he tend to gesture a lot or a little. Does he seem relaxed or tense. When you feel pretty confident that you recognize his baseline, you can now ask him the questions that you really want to know. These will be questions about the quality and history of the car, its maintenance record, whether his customers are typically happy with their cars etc. It’s at this point that you want to look for those patterns that differ from his baseline of normal behavior.

How can you tell if he likes you? Body language and attraction

Here is a recent body language and attraction article I was quoted in:

Men’s Body Language, Decoded: What’s He Really Telling You?
When it comes to understanding men—and their interest level in you—do you need a translator? Glamour Magazine asked the top body language experts such as Patti Wood about men’s most confusing mixed signals and found that it’s not what he says but what he does that really matters.

Youtube video of body language and deception

Gisela, a sixth grader at Mesa Grande Elementary School, decided for her science project to see whether she could tell if a person was lying based on their facial expressions. Here is the result: Part 1,Part 2 (Youtube videos).

As part of the experiment she asked people questions and observed their expressions to see if they were lying. The six questions she asked were:
Please describe the American flag.
Please describe an elephant.
Please describe a giraffe.
Please describe what you are wearing right now.
Please describe what type of weather we are having right now.
Please describe what your hands look like.

As part of the experiment Gisela and her brother Victor are filmed lying and telling the truth.

How to detect lies through body language

Here is a homework assignment for my Deception Detection class: read a novel by Aaron Elkins then use your class workbook and notes to figure out whether his forensic anthropologist protagonist could have figured out the clues he did from the evidence presented.

Real smiles vs. fake smiles

I am giving a deception detection workshop tonight. One of the techniques I will discuss is how to tell a real smile from a fake smile. Different parts of the brain are responsible for real and fake smiles. The unconscious part of the brain is responsible for a real smile, while the conscious part of the brain creates a fake smile.As well as making the mouth muscles move, the muscles that raise the cheeks in a smile also contract, making the eyes crease up. There are few key features which distinguish a real smile from a fake one. In a genuine smile the fold in the fleshy part of the eye between the eyebrow and eyelid moves downwards and the corners of the eyebrows dip slightly. Real smiles are all about the eyes. I did research on smiling as the national spokes person for The Natural Dentist. I will be blogging about this more tomorrow in the meantime here’s a great link from the BBC which provides a test to determine if you can determine a genuine smile from a fake one through recognizing micro expressions: