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Drawing Out A Liar; Techniques in Spotting Lies and Eliciting True Responses


While the traditional courses of human lie detection (facial micro-expression changes, fidgeting, profuse sweating, etc.) are still valid methods of determining your subject’s truthfulness – to the degree that one is trained in, and astute to, human reactions during prevarication –  we can cut to the quick with these newer, tested and timely (upcoming 2016 election year, enough said) tips on real-time truth assessment and manipulation:

1. Response time.   Truthful recollection of an event or fact presents differently in the brain than does a lie. Although several brain areas appear to play a role in deception, the most consistent scientific finding  is that activity in the prefrontal cortex increases when people lie. The prefrontal cortex, situated just behind the forehead, is responsible for executive control (the ability to regulate thoughts or actions to achieve goals). Executive control includes cognitive processes such as planning, problem solving, and attention — all important components of deception — therefore it’s logical to conclude (and fMRI research supports) that the prefrontal cortex is active when we lie. Dishonesty requires the brain to work harder than honesty, and this effort is reflected by increased brain activity.  Simply stated: lies take longer to form so your subject will take longer to answer your question.

Solution: A.  Speed up your rate of questioning.  B. Circle back to questions already asked with an intentional “mis” take on the response. (E.g., misstate the time, date, clothing worn, persons with the interviewee, etc.)

Brain Parts Diagram

2. Eyes.  We’ve all heard the old advice that claims that liars look about furtively.  True for most but the really good ones stare at you for a longer-than-normal period of time.  Not only is that an attempt to appear sincere, it is a challenge to force the interviewer to back down first.

Solution: Counter-intuitively, move your eyes about.  Don’t get into a bug-eyed eye-rolling contest. Rather, as the subject answers, make eye contact and then look directly laterally to a spot above the person’s shoulder. (As if you are looking at something coming up behind them.) This maneuver instigates an innate response to perceived danger behind the subject and elicits a truer response as the lie is halted in its infancy as the responder involuntarily shifts away from the pre-frontal cortex to the amygdala, which is the fear center of the brain.

3.  Body Movements, Linguistics:  Liars tend to a) hide or clasp their hands in an attempt to literally “hold firm” to their lies and possibly to stop involuntary shaking of the hands, b) touch their faces or c) exaggerate a speech affect (accent, pronunciation, etc.) during the telling of a lie.

Solution: Subtly mimic the subject’s behavior.  Unintentional (as it were)  mirroring, generally applies to people who are getting along so well that they mimic each other’s body posture, hand gestures, speaking accents, among other actions.

(“Imitation is the best form of flattery.”)

Use this method to subconsciously disarm the subject.  As the chameleon behavior signals trust and admiration, the subject opens up more and incorporates more of the truth (especially if it is shocking, horrible or ethically/morally repellent) in their responses. The body is actually autonomously making the interaction smoother to increase the level of likeability when in rapport.

Use these techniques for good and, in general, trust and hone your own instincts.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, stay safe.

Stuck In A Florida Hurricane or Mexican Jail? Five Essential Nationwide and Global Emergency Apps

Emergency app


1.  !Emergency!  (Featured above.)  Imagine yourself in a disaster situation – in a foreign country. You have no clue where the closest embassy is, or the 911 equivalent in Germany or Mexico or Japan.   The !Emergency! app automatically detects the country you’re in and then directs you to the proper authorities. (Given that you are allowed to make that one call if you’ve been arrested in a foreign country.)



2. UbAlert:  a global social network where users share reports – and graphic accounts – of natural disasters (tsunami) and those man-made (Kenya terrorist attack).



3. Re-Unite: the lost family finder from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, helps to update the NLM’s People Locator for natural disasters. Information about missing (and found) family members is posted immediately.

4. Official FEMA app: Can be used to set up a family meeting place and get the latest emergency updates.

5. Life360: Immediately locates a family member. (You can turn off the location feature at any time.)


In any emergency, I know it’s easy to stay calm but it really is important to do just that and trust that you are not alone and help is as close as a click away.

BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.

As always, be safe.

Happy Easter and Happy Passover, 2015

happy holidays


I take this opportunity to thank our readers and clients for their support and to wish all happiness, peace, prosperity and all of the joys of the holiday.

Throughout each year, there are wonderful days and challenging times.  May your strong and heartfelt advocacy efforts be greatly rewarded.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover,


Lina M. Maini

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