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> Four-factor Model
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When people tell lies, there are four underlying mechanisms
- Arousal: Lying causes anxiety and arousal, either because of
dissonance at conflicting values and behavior, or due to fear of getting
caught. This can be detected via lie detectors, speech errors and hesitations,
repetitions, fidgeting and displacement activity, blinking, higher vocal pitch
and pupil dilation.
- Behavior control: We try to control body language that might give us
away. In fact this is impossible and leakage often occurs, for example where
we are controlling our face and our legs give us away.
- Emotion: Our emotions change when we are lying. For example, duping
delight, where the liar is secretly pleased at their perceived success.
Guilt may also appear. Micro-motions in facial muscles can betray hidden
- Thinking: To lie, we usually have to think a lot harder, such as to
ensure coherence in our arguments. This leads us to take longer in speaking
with more pauses. We also tend to use more generalities to avoid getting
trapped by specific detail.
Zuckerman et al. found pupil dilation to be a fairly good indicator of
deception. Many other indicators have been found, such as fidgeting, blinking,
vocal pitch, etc. Like non-verbal behavior, however, no single method is
guaranteed to work each time.
Poker players often wear dark glasses to hide the dilation of their pupils
when they are aroused that they cannot control. Otherwise, they are often
masters of controlling their non-verbal behavior.
Do not lie, especially in front of someone (like the police)
who are trained to spot lies. Use the above pointers to detect when others are
Interpersonal Deception Theory, Non-Verbal Behavior
Zuckerman, DePaulo and Rosenthal
(1981), Zuckerman and Driver