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Lie to Me: Body Behavior 101

Reading behavior. Knowing when someone is lying to you. A walking lie detector. Who doesn’t wish they had that capability? The only downside is you realize how often people lie, even to themselves. Lie to Me is a show about Dr. Cal Lightman, a walking lie detector who helps the government and everyday people find out the truth. However, Dr. Lightman is actually based off of Dr. Paul Ekman, who acted as advisor to the show. Here are some of the basic expression reading tools covered in the show( https://www.paulekman.com/micro-expressions-training-tools/).

According to Ekman, the basis of all reading behavior is within micro expressions – “Microexpressions are the rapid movements of facial muscles which are tied to underlying emotions.”

(Photo courtesy of Pexels.com) 

A common micro-expression for lying, or hiding something generally, is when someone touches or rubs their neck. Many times beyond that, everyone has their own little distraction when they lie, focusing on the lie so much they don’t notice what they’re physically doing (i.e. yawning, rubbing forehead with a finger, twisting ring, pinching fingers, etc.). Deflecting statements, where a person doesn’t directly answer your question because they are hiding something. Also, it is a common misconception that if you don’t make eye contact, you’re lying. In fact, because of that common misconception, people will often make more eye contact while they’re lying. If they look away to think, make correcting statements, make descriptive statements (ex: it was as big as an elephant), a person is trying to give you an accurate truth and are not being deceitful.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels.com) 

A couple other notes beyond hiding a truth:

Swallowing? A telltale sign for fear. If someone is trying to hide a smile, or pulls at the corner of the mouth but only slightly – they’re definitely hiding something: contempt.

And on a happy note: crinkling at the eyes. A telltale sign of true laughter and a true smile.

(Photo Courtesy of Pexels.com) 

Now don’t take this article too seriously. These are simply common observations made from the show. I am no psychologist (yet). And I am definitely not a lie detector. If you want to know more, I say watch the show! Or better yet check out Dr. Ekman’s website.

Hi! My name is Victoria Miller, but everyone calls me Tori. While writing has always been a passion of mine, it does not encompass all of my interests. I love exercising (taking care of my health is a big part of life for me - we only have one body to for life!), cooking, reading, singing, and hanging out with my friends and family. I am definitely a So-Cal Gal, and in complete honesty, I would not want to live anywhere else! I hope you enjoy the Her Campus articles as much as I do!
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