Lie Spotting

To all you writers and fans of detective and police dramas, I’m going to share a secret: liars don’t act at all like they do on TV dramas. Importantly, cops don’t interview the way they do on TV either.

Trained deception detectors (I’m self-trained) look for various behaviors, “tells,” that point to lies. It’s subtle and can be done by anyone. For instance, read the two sentences below and tell me which one was said by the (fictional) liar:

“I didn’t touch her.”

“Let me be clear, I did not touch that woman, ever.”

It’s kind of obvious to you, isn’t it? Watch the video and find out more and why. (Nope, I’m not going to tell you the answer; you have to watch the video.) If you like this stuff, look out for Jeanne Dark when I finish writing it. 🙂


  1. I have an issue with my internet so I decide to download the video to my computer so I can watch it later. To be honest, I’ve seen this video on TED for a while but I kept skipping it to watch others. However, I decided to watch it this time when I saw this video again on your blog. 😉

    1. Well, I hope you enjoy it. It fit right in with a book I’m currently working on, so I’m keeping it as reference.

  2. araneus1 says:

    Research says that MOST people cannot tell is someone is lying, and more importantly, police officer do not score any better than average citizens when it comes to picking liars…………. interesting, don’t you think?

    1. Most people and police aren’t trained in detecting deception, and the “tells” are so brief and subtle, that I’d be surprised if anyone could do it without substantial training and practice. And even then, they should be looking at videotaped footage to spot the behaviors. Some people don’t have tells, and others act like they’re lying when they aren’t.

      It hard, but I find it fascinating. I bet most cops just assume they’re good at it.

      1. araneus1 says:

        I met a cop who is a psychic………… that was very interesting! And yes, I’ve never met a cop who didn’t believe he could spot a liar…….. also interesting.

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