Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lying Without Saying A Single Word

The short answer is "kinesics;" the longer is "non-verbal behavior related to physical movement" or simply, Body Language.  In a poker game, the players' faces can reflect the hand they've been given, hence the term "poker face" meaning an unemotional, blank look.  Used away from poker, too, very often by wives who spent more than they should have or a husbands denials of where the meeting was actually held (and with whom.)

The study of kinesics was begun back in 1952 by an anthropologist name of Ray Birdwhistell and carried forth to this day by fiction writer Jeffrey Deaver via his heroine Kathryn Dance of the California Bureau of Investigation.  She is their body language specialist.

I'd never heard of kinesics until I read Deaver's "Roadside Crosses."  Being an ardent observer of human behavior, I was fascinated.  Deaver is wonderfully educational on this subject.

The Good Guy first has to establish a baseline of normal thus truthful behavior of the person being questioned.  Such as, do they normally wiggle, use "Uh" a lot, twist a strand of hair?  You get the picture.

When a subject being questioned is lying, they may offer unnecessary digressions, ramble on or generalize by saying 'Oh, everyone knows that" such-and-such.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is pretty conclusive as to types of people - extrovert, introvert, intuitive, verifying data by using the five senses or relying on hunches. 

The other side of the coin is the type personality that liars present - manipulative lies, social lies, insecurity or (tellingly) actors who lie for control. 

This is a fascinating subject and to practice you skills with television personalities or politicians can be quite amusing.  Since all politicians lie, they aren't much of a challenge, but you need to start with something easy.  As entertainment, I recommend it. 

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