Detecting Deception

Detecting Deception

Can one ever accurately spot a liar?

In my quest to better understand the science of behavioral analysis I have come across several books where authors claim to be capable of spelling out the behavioral cues that characterize the art of deception. Initially, I was mesmerized by the techniques highlighted in such texts, however, soon after I came to realize that the behavioral signals these authors often emphasized were nothing but ambiguous indicators of nervousness. A seasoned liar is most likely already aware of the suggestive assumptions that imply that those attempting to deceive appear to be uncomfortable, frequently shift their gaze and twitch in high frequencies. Therefore, experienced deceivers tend to behave in ways that inhibit demonstrations of anxiety and tension, when exposed to pressure. This then indicates that these authors’ efforts to synthesize an accurate guideline for uncovering deception is in reality unavailing, as good liars know what people believe to be signs of lying and they will attempt to mask such signs for as long as consciously possible. One may then ask, if manifestations of nervousness and anxiety are not the right indicators of lying, what exactly is? Well, this is a question that professionals in the Criminal Psychology field have been itching to respond, and lately I, too, have been wondering what the most accurate answer for this question may be.

This particular matter, of establishing whether or not one is lying, is raised to a level of essential importance when it involves the interviewing process of criminal suspects. It is crucial for police officers, and officials carrying out interrogations, to be effectively equipped with the skills needed to identify a liar. However, current models of exposing deception are at times based on faulty methods of behavioral analysis- thus- making it virtually impossible for such professionals to precisely claim that a certain suspect is indeed lying. Studies demonstrate that police officers who have been trained to detect deception, using the interpretation of behavioral manifestations of anxiety and nervousness, proficiently identify lies only fifty-five per cent of the time. With such a mediocre level of accuracy one might as well rely on random chances (which would allow one to be correct 50% of the time under such circumstances).

A vital issue raised by the practice of deception identification through behavioral analysis is the concern that the behaviors of nervous, innocent suspects- during interviews/interrogations- may be perceived, by officers, as indicators of deception. When such a mistaken detection occurs the continuation of the interviewing process may further pressure the suspect into more deteriorating levels of distress, leading them to consequently supply professionals with a coerced confession. In order to prevent such matters from occurring it’s essential that new, more accurate techniques for lie detection are developed and employed.

When speaking of lie detection mechanisms you may start thinking about the use and the validity of the results provided by computerized polygraphs, or lie detectors, modernized in the late 80s and early 90s. Polygraphs seemingly represent the ideal solution to the defective process of lie detection, yet, the data collected by these devices simply highlight the physiological components that characterize anxiety and nervousness – including: heightened heart rate, shortened breathing intervals and increased blood pressure. This can pose a problem when the machine is used on innocent suspects who are just simply terrified at the time of the interview. When an innocent individual is exposed to a setting where they are plugged up to a lie detecting device, and frequently monitored by police officials it is not unlikely for them to begin showing the physiological signs that the machine, and experts, may interpret as lying behavior. This then makes it difficult for me to fully believe that this sort of technology supplies us the level of accuracy currently needed to amend modern techniques of uncovering lies.

A particularly interesting approach to ameliorating our understanding of lie detection has been the application of linguistic analysis of responses provided by suspects during an interview/interrogation. I find this to be perhaps one of the most promising mechanisms employed to identify deception. The linguistic examination of one’s speech patterns have been shown to highlight specific indicators of deceptive behavior. It appears to be the case that while lying, individuals tend to focus on the expression of negative emotions through the usage of diction that reflects anxiety. Liars have also been shown to use fewer terms that express exclusion, such as but and without. Their lexical constructs, while lying, also are reported to demonstrate less diversity and inadequate intervals. Although a promising approach, the use of linguistic analyses is not error free, thus prompting critics to assert that it may not be the most effective technique to detect deception. However, personally, I have high hopes for the advances that this area of study may bring us in the near future.

Unfortunately, we have yet to develop a method of lie detection that possesses a splendidly high level of accuracy. Therefore, it is essentially improbable for one to proficiently recognize lying behaviors. So, the next time you find yourself thinking that you are pretty good at spotting a liar, you should probably remind yourself that you’re just as correct as the chances allow you to be.

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Why Nursing School Is Different Than Any Other Major

Because most other majors can't kill someone accidentally by adding wrong.

College is hard. Between studying for numerous amounts of tests and balancing eating, working out, maintaining a social life, and somehow not breaking your bank account, it’s no wonder a common conversation among students is “how many mental breakdowns did you have this week?” Every major will pose its own challenges; that’s truth. Nursing school, however, is a special kind of tough that only other nursing majors can understand.

SEE ALSO: Quit Bashing Radford University

Nurses are the backbone and unsung hero of healthcare. Their job is to advocate for the patient, collaborate care among all other healthcare team members, carry out physician orders, recognize and report patient progress (or lack thereof), run interference for the patient with any unwanted visitors, research and validate evidence based practice, all while maintaining a certain aurora of confidence for patients and their loved ones that “everything will be okay” and “I’ve got this under control”. If that sounds like a lot; that’s because it is. The majority of skills that we learn that make good nurses cannot actually be taught in theory classes. It’s the hours of actual practice and a certain knack for caring for people- all people- that makes a good nurse great. The countless, unrelenting hours that are spent on the floor in clinical humble us, we know that we’re not great yet, but we’re trying.

Our professors expect us to be humble as well. Nurses do not seek gold stars for their actions, instead the precedence that is set for us to that we “do the right thing because it is the right thing to do”. Most nursing programs grading scales are different. To us, a failing grade isn’t actually getting a 69 or lower, it’s an 80. And that makes sense; no one would want a nurse who only understand 70% of what is happening in the body. We have to understand the normal body response, what happens when things go wrong, why it happens the way it does, and how to properly intervene. We want to learn, it interests us, and we know that the long theory classes and the hard days on the floor are just to make us better. However, any triumph, anytime you do well, whatever small victory that may feel like for you, it just what is supposed to happen- it’s what is expected, and we still have much to learn.

I look back on my decision to take on nursing school, and I often find myself questioning: why? There are so many other majors out there that offer job security, or that help people, or would challenge me just as much. But, when I think of being a nurse- it’s what fulfills me. There’s something that the title holds that makes me feel complete (and that same fact is going to resonate with anyone who wants to love their job). I wouldn’t change the decision I made for anything, I love what I am learning to do and I feel that it’s part of what makes me who I am. The other students who I have met through nursing school are some of the most amazing people I have ever come into contact with, and the professors have helped me understand so much more about myself than I thought possible.

Nursing is treating and understanding the human response. Meaning that it’s not just the disease process, or the action of the medication, or the care that we provide, but that nurses treat the way in which people deal, react, feel, and cope with good news, bad news, terrible procedures, hospital stays and being completely dependent on other people. And the fact of the matter is that all people are different. There is no one magic treatment that will always work for every patient. In addition to course work, the clinical hours, the passion and drive to want to be a nurse, and the difficulty that comes with any medical profession, we have to understand each individual patient, as people and not their illness. And, in order to do that so much self discovery goes on each day to recognize where you are and how you are coping with everything coming your way.

What is taught in nursing school goes far beyond just textbook information or step by step procedures. We have to learn, and quickly, how to help and connect with people on a level which most struggle to accomplish in a lifetime. It's a different kind of instruction, and it either takes place quickly or not at all. The quality of nurse you become depends on it. Nursing school is different, not harder or better than any other school, just different.

SEE ALSO: Stop Putting Down Radford University

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college


Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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