Lie to Me

16 Mar

Recently one series caught my attention, it's the American television series Lie to Me. In the series, Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his colleagues assist in investigations, reaching the truth through applied psychology: interpreting micro-expressions, through the Facial Action Coding System, and body language.

Dr. Cal Lightman is the world's leading deception expert, a scientist who studies facial expressions, body language, voice and words to discover if someone is lying and why. Lightman can spot what are known as "micro-expressions" – split-second, involuntary facial expressions that reveal what a person is really feeling.
Well, I should mention that it's not the cases they resolve that caught my attention, but the methods they use to reach the truth. Here is something I found about body language (a form of non-verbal communication):

1. Arms crossed across the chest. This can indicate that a person is putting up an unconscious barrier between themselves and others. It can also indicate that the person's arms are cold which would be clarified by rubbing the arms. When the overall situation is amicable, it can mean that a person is thinking deeply about what is being discussed. But in a serious or confrontational situation, it can mean that a person is expressing opposition. This is especially so if the person is leaning away from the speaker. A harsh or blank facial expression often indicates outright hostility.

2. Consistent eye contact can indicate that a person is thinking positively of what the speaker is saying. It can also mean that the other person doesn't trust the speaker enough to "take his eyes off" the speaker. Lack of eye contact can indicate negativity. If a person is looking at you but is making the arms-across-chest signal, the eye contact could be indicative that something is bothering the person, and that he wants to talk about it. If the person looks from one eye to the other then to the forehead it is a sign that they are taking an authoritative position. If they move from one eye to the other then to the nose, that signals that they are engaging in what they consider to be a "level conversation" with neither party holding superiority. The last case is from one eye to the other and then down to the lips. This is a strong indication of romantic feelings.

3. Disbelief is often indicated by averted gaze, or by touching the ear or scratching the chin.

4. Boredom is indicated by the head tilting to one side, or by the eyes looking straight at the speaker but becoming slightly unfocused.

5. Deceit or the act of withholding information can sometimes be indicated by touching the face during conversation. Recently, evidence has surfaced that the absence of blinking can also represent lying as a more reliable factor than excessive blinking.

I am very pleased with this series and I recommend you to watch it, especially if you are interested in non verbal communication like me :happy:


Posted by on March 16, 2010 in Uncategorized



14 responses to “Lie to Me

  1. gdare

    March 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    I was climbing on Mt. Everest few times….*looking on the upper left side, thinking if Mira will recognise that*:lol:I like Tim Roth, an actor whom I remember fromReservoir Dogs (Mr. Orange) and Pulp Fiction (Pumpkin – Ringo). Pumpkin: Yeah, well the days of me forgetting are over, and the days of me remembering have just begun. 😎

  2. WinterForLady

    March 17, 2010 at 12:03 am

    😆 Darko, I don't know if I am good in reading people faces..I just found this subject interesting 🙂 Tim Roth is a good actor I would say.That's great that you remember what he said..I usually remember only the story, action.

  3. gdare

    March 17, 2010 at 9:03 am

    :sst: I needed to check on to be sure 😉

  4. studio41

    March 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    I am aware of some of these items… but when confronting the one that was lying to me… it didn't help. the person confessed that there was no lying going on :sherlock:

  5. qlue

    March 23, 2010 at 12:03 am

    Body language is interesting. But it is also somewhat dependent on culture. :left:.It's interesting that people tend to touch their faces when they lie. Young children will actually go as far as to completely cover their mouths. This proves that lying is not natural and that we try to stop ourselves from lying. :p.I don't watch tv any more, but I'd probably watch this if I did! :yes:.

  6. WinterForLady

    March 23, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    @Jill- yes, some people don't want to admit that they were lying to us even when they are caught. After reading these facts I pay more attention on people's behavior while they are talking 🙂 @Aadil- may I call you Aadil?Welcome to my blog :happy: I agree it depends on culture. For example, head gestures in Bulgaria are the reverse of ours, with a shake meaning yes and a nod meaning no. Microexpressions express seven emotions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt, they are universal. Yes, lying is not natural:)

  7. qlue

    March 23, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Aadil is my name! :yes:.Interesting theory on Microexpressions! :sherlock:. But it might be tough finding actual varifiable and falsifiable research. :left:.

  8. thetomster

    April 8, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    🙂 very late to comment here, but I was carrying your blog in my mind for quite a long time 'though I don't watch TV … I remember having seen some advertising at the train station on my commute when this series started in Germany…. and I thought I'd read something about this very interesting topic "microexpression" … took quite a long time that I could remember where I read something about it and surprisingly it was in a Thriller I've read in January. it was by the American author Jeffrey Deaver "the Sleeping Doll" as the last book of the Sachs/Rhyme series … he introduced a new detective there specialised on "microexpressions" …

  9. AnitaMargita

    April 10, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Seems as a very interesting series! :up: It would be great to read the book as well. 🙂

  10. WinterForLady

    April 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    @Dirk- it's never late to comment and you are always welcome :happy: Now I'm interested to read this book too:) @Anchi- Yes, it is 🙂 The character in the series, dr. Cal Lightman, is based on dr. Paul Ekman I would like to read his book "Emotions Revealed"

  11. thetomster

    April 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    ; Ana & Mira … you both should have a look at the author's website: informative … the expert in microexpression got her own series already: The Kathryn Dance Series … haven't read any of them, but surely will do, have read most of the other books of JD already and you might remember the movie starring Denzel Washngton and Angelina Jolie "The Bone Collector"

  12. WinterForLady

    April 13, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Dirk, thank you for the website :happy: It is informative. From "Roadside Crosses" , " And to kill in a particularly horrific and efficient way: using the personal details about the victims that they've carelessly posted in blogs and on social networking web sites." :nervous: Yes, I watched "The Bone Collector".

  13. thetomster

    April 13, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    😉 my pleasure, Mira 😀

  14. qlue

    April 14, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    *goes to check Dirks blog*


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