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Are They Lying? Things To Watch For During A Presidential Debate

Obama And Romney - Getty Images
Obama And Romney – Getty Images

Question: How can you tell if a politician is lying?

Answer: Are their lips moving?

Watching a presidential debate is like talking to a stripper. They get you excited, but only follow through if you have enough money.

Have you ever watched a debate, and wondered which “truths” are real, and which are just lip service? While I’m not a professional, I did a little research to see if there are any physical traits that will tip us off to any B.S. that may be spewed over the next couple of weeks. According to this article at blifaloo.com, here are some things to pay attention to:

1. Body Language

Physical expression will be limited and stiff, with few arm and hand movements. A person who is lying to you will avoid making eye contact. Hands touching their face, throat & mouth. Touching or scratching the nose or behind their ear.

2. Gestures and Contradiction

Expressions are limited to mouth movements when someone is faking emotions (like happy, surprised, sad, awe), instead of the whole face. Gestures/expressions don’t match the verbal statement. Timing is off between emotions gestures/expressions and words.

3. Reactions

A guilty person gets defensive. An innocent person will often go on the offensive. A liar is uncomfortable facing his questioner/accuser and may turn his head or body away. A liar might unconsciously place objects between themselves and you.

4. Context and Content

A liar will use your words to make answer a question. A statement with a contraction is more likely to be truthful. They imply answers instead of denying something directly. They may speak more than natural, adding unnecessary details to convince you. Words may be garbled and spoken softly, and syntax and grammar may be off.

It’s important to point out that there are always exceptions to the rule. The website I got the above from seems to have the most common elements of lying among all the posts I read, but according to this article at humanliedetection.com, there are at least 5 myths about lying:

1. ) The biggest and most renown myth is the myth that someone is lying or deceiving you because they are fidgeting, or not maintaining eye contact.

2. ) An individual is lying because he/she is replying with curt responses.

3. ) It is particularly difficult to detect lies that your close friends or family tell.

4. ) An individual is lying because he/she looks content, or appears to be smiling.

5. ) If someone fails a polygraph, they are lying.

They follow this up with a list debunking some of these myths. Read the article for more info.

I say watch carefully, and if you see more than one of these traits, odds are they are being untruthful. Of course, they most likely have someone working for them that helps them recognize and overcome the more obvious signs…so you can’t even believe everything your eyes tell you…

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