What is the definition of lying or indeed deception? Well deception
can be defined in many ways, but it was termed by Vrij (Vrij, 2000,
p.6) as a successful or unsuccessful deliberate attempt, without
forewarning, to create in another a belief, which the communicator
considers to be untrue.
Telling lies is a daily life event, which varies in quite complex ways
depending on the situation the person is in and the person being lied
to. People lie for all kinds of reasons. However half the lies are
either self–orientated, and are therefore intended to make the liar
appear better or to gain personal advantage (DePaulo et al., 1996).
Self– orientated lies consist of people lying in order to avoid
punishment, to make a positive impression on others or to protect
themselves. Some lies are other–orientated, to make another person
feel better or for another’s benefit.
How can you tell if someone is lying to you? People generally believe
that nonverbal cues to deception exist and they know what these cues
are; but how accurate are people at detecting lies?
In laboratory studies concerning detection of deception, observers are
given videotaped or audiotaped statements of various people who are
either lying or telling the truth. After each statement the
participant is asked to judge whether the statement are true or false.
In most studies reported, people have not been very good at judging
when people are lying. Average accuracy in detecting deceit has rarely
been above 60% with 50% being chance and most people have performed
Studies revealed that in three separate experiments conducted by Kraut
and Poe (1980) DePaulo and Pfeifer (1986) and Ko...
... middle of paper ...
...ussed in the appropriate section of the study, therefore this
could be an area that could be further explored in the future.
On the whole in conclusion, the study has established the extent to
which people are able to detect lies by observing physiological
responses. Mistakes in lie detection are inevitable, but perhaps with
the correct training, experience and motivation we may become
specialists in detecting lies. But is this possible?.
In my opinion in both theoretical and practical terms; this is a sound
work on a vital subject. Although room for further research is needed.
Aldert Vrij, (2002) ‘Telling and Detecting Lies’ chapter 4, in Nicola
Brace and Helen Westcott (ed) ‘Applying Psychology’ The Open
Journal article – Paul Ekman and Maureen O’Sullivan (1991) ‘Who Can
Catch A Liar’ Vol.46, no 9, pp.913-930
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