Learn to Identify a Liar by These Word Signs.

Sometimes lying seems so harmless, but it can incapacitate us and even cost money . On a more subtle level, it changes our way of speaking, and since most of us are not as good at lying as we think, if you know what to look for, you can probably catch a lie in the act.

The explanation for why we lie is pretty simple: we want to connect with who we think we should be, not just be who we are, this TED-Ed video explains.

Stories based on lies or “imaginary experiences” are different from real events because we have to think a little. Thus, we will change the way we speak without even knowing it. In particular, there are four notable indicators:

  1. Minimal self-referencing: Liars often use third-person views to distance themselves from misleading statements.
  2. Negative language: Liars tend to be more negative because they subconsciously feel guilty about lying.
  3. Simple explanations: Liars usually tell stories or events in simple language because the brain has a hard time coming up with complex lies (at least on the spot).
  4. Confusing wording: Liars use longer, convoluted sentences with irrelevant details, although they can be more straightforward.

The rest of the video focuses on applying these key points to examples from our culture, exploring how certain public figures change their speech patterns from one interview (presumably where they lie) to another (where they tell the truth). As we’ve written in other articles, looking for non-verbal cues is also important.

The language of lies | TED-Ed


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