Can You Detect A Liar?

Can You Detect A Liar?

Examining the Social contexts of Lying and the Indicators of Lying

Lying is as universal as eating. Everyone lies and it is an innate quality of human beings as social creatures. From sociability stems the origin of storytelling and elaboration of truths and deception. Just as easy as we tell lies it is often far more difficult to detect deception from others. Which leads us to ask ourselves:

In what ways can we become better at detecting lies?

To begin, children as young as two years old begin to understand the concept of lying and by the age of four, 80 percent of children will lie. Telling a lie evokes a lot of emotion, yet can be masked quite well. Children who have mastered the art of concealing emotions through self-control in speech and facial movement are considered “sophisticated liars” and from this observation Kang Lee, researcher of lying in childhood development, recommends that parents should “celebrate” their child’s lying achievements as such skills signal healthy, normal development of fundamental milestones.

Considering the length at which human beings develop the capacity for lying and deception begin in toddlerhood, it seems as though we should be relatively capable of detecting any and all lies that come our way. Unfortunately, our expertise in the detection of lies is subpar. On average, author Pamela Meyer states that “studies show that you may be lied to anywhere between 10 and 200 times” though most lies we encounter are white lies (those more harmless false truths we all are guilty of professing on occasion).

What steps can be taken then to identify the more severe lies such as those that affect the economy, our families, or our personal safety?

Meyers offers a few tips in order to help spot a lie.

1.) The first tip to be cognizant of is lying is a cooperative act. This means that we allow ourselves to be lied to for various reasons, such as for the sake of one’s dignity, for the sake of need, and for the sake of fostering a connection with someone in order to “connect our wishes and our fantasies about who we wish we were...wish we could be, with what we’re really like.” As social beings, we long to connect with our peers and sometimes we compromise the truth and our very own awareness to do so.

2.) Tip number two lies within the ambiguity of lying. Lying is complex...we’re ambivalent about the truth. Lying from a societal standpoint is normally deemed negatively as most are taught to always tell the truth, yet in reality lies are sometimes afforded and can prevent dangerous situations from escalating. As Meyer elaborates, “We’re against lying, but we’re covertly for it in ways that our society has sanctioned for centuries…” Though we understand that lying can be detrimental and unwarranted, we rely on lying within our everyday lives without hesitation most of the time, and if scrutiny is at the forefront then classical works of art such as Shakespeare or Dante even religious contexts identify the objectification of lying and deception.

Detecting a person’s lie can be tricky, yet noticing just a few small markers can make the difference between being fooled or outsmarting the liar. Meyer points out that the indicators or “hot spots” for signs of deception are speech and body language. Freud said it best as he remarked, “No mortal can keep a secret. If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips.” Meyer uses this statement to advise that though we may be able to keep our mouths shut when holding a secret, we can be found out by the body language we express. A misconception is that liars are fidgeters, unable to sit still. However, liars usually freeze and become very still. Furthermore, in terms of eye contact, liars are able to hold a focused gaze when telling a lie. Moreso, pay attention to the smile of a possible liar. Smiles can be forced and sometimes easily dismissed as authentic, but genuine smiles contract not only the cheek muscles, but also the muscles of the eyes. So next time pay attention to a person’s smile and try to notice if the smile exists within the eyes.

As for speech, when lying, people tend to conform to what is known as non-contracted denial in which their denials are void of contractions (think Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky scandal). Additionally, liars tend to use more formal language, are likely to distance themselves from the subject (e.g. person, place, thing) at hand, and tend to overwhelm a statement with too much detail of an account which further posits them to appear as dishonest for they appear to be working far too strenuously to appear truthful. Meyer references an interesting tactic that trained detectors' use for liars who jumble their stories with random and excessive information. To discover the truth, detectors will use a liar's tactic of chronology when retelling events to their advantage by asking the liar to retell the story backward which is a form of rehearsal that people do not practice in preparation of lying.

Of these tools, the most important aspect of detecting deception is to use the senses. Look and pay attention to a person’s subtle gestures and facial expressions:

Are their eyes smiling with the mouth?

Listen to the words being spoken.

Is the person using convoluted language?

Is the use of unnecessary words being used to overcompensate?

Is the tone slow and calculated, forced?

To learn more about the subject of lying and spotting lies, I recommend viewing the TED talks of both Pamela Meyer and Kang Lee who work extensively on the dynamics of lying and technological advances toward detecting liars. The links are provided for each video. Who knows, maybe through their insights you may find yourself using the tactics outlined and may successfully spot a lie before it gets the best of you.


Lee, K. (n.d.). Can you really tell if a kid is lying? Retrieved April 06, 2017, from

Meyer, P. (n.d.). Pamela Meyer. Retrieved April 06, 2017, from
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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

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12 Ways To Save Money During The Summer When All You Want Is To Spend It

Saving is important year round, but it's most important in the summer


Over the summer, everyone normally has more free time than during the year, and that means more time to spend more money. Saving money over the summer is important, not only so you can be prepared to pay for things in the future, but also so you can enjoy your summer and no be stressed about how much money you've spent. Saving money is something that should happen year round, but it's especially important to do in the summer.

1. Create a budget

Starting the summer off on the right foot is super important to stay on track throughout the rest of the summer. A budget is something that you should have year round, but it's important to adjust it for your summer plans.

2. And stick to it

Not only do you have to make a budget, but you have to stick to it. If you don't follow your budget, you're wasting time and money, and it's hard to keep on top of finances.

3. Take advantage of student discounts

During the summer, college students find themselves with a lot more free time than in the school year. When you're planning what to do with your extra time, make sure to look if the place offers student discounts or not. Why pay full price when you don't have to?

4. Don't always go out to eat

College students tend to spend time with their friends going out for food or for drinks, and that adds up fast. If you have friends over to cook dinner, it can be healthier and cheaper to do.

5. Sublet

If you have an apartment you're not going to be staying in, or need to stay in Columbus, it's beneficial both ways to sublet. Neither way do you have to pay full price on an apartment, and any discount, no matter how small, saves you money

6. Take day trips

Obviously, no one wants to stay in one place the whole summer, but travel is super expensive. By going on day trips you get to see more of the state or city, but you don't have to pay for lodging overnight. It's a good way to get out without eating into your budget.

7. Walk around

Columbus has great parks and trails that not enough people think about using when they're planning what they want to do. If you walk around outside, you can spend as much time you want there and you don't have to pay anything.

8. Split costs with friend

Do both of you need a Hulu and a Netflix account? Why not share the costs and the passwords with each other, so that you both can save some extra cash in the future. This doesn't just have to be with streaming services, but it can apply to food and parking costs as well.

9. Don't impulsively buy big items

Maybe you've worked a ton recently to start saving for summer, or you have graduation money flowing in. You feel like it doesn't matter how much you spend, but it does. If you hold off on those purchases, and you save your money, you'll be in a better spot financially at the end of the summer.

10. Get a job

The obvious one. If you're doing an unpaid internship or your normal job isn't offering you many hours, then getting a second job where you can work to have a little more money can help you achieve your savings goal.

11. Don't be too hard on yourself

The hardest part of setting goals is when you don't achieve them. Even if you haven't saved exactly as much as you wanted, making even a small change can help your financial wellbeing and can be enough to make small changes in the future.

12. Don't force yourself to make big changes

Everyone's saving tips to Millennials are to stop getting coffee every single day from places like Starbucks. While cutting down on spending in these ways will greatly help you save money, it's not the only thing that will help. There's no reason to make yourself miserable in order to follow the rules of someone else for a small change financially.

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