Three Ways to Catch a Liar

Paul Ekman in Big Think:

Sett_newSpotting a micro expression is the single most useful thing. This is an expression that lasts about a 25th of a second. We’ve tested over 15,000 people in all walks of life and over 99 percent of them don’t see them and yet with an hour's training on the Internet they can learn to see them. So if you want to catch liars, learn how to see micro expressions, use the micro expression training tool on my website.

However, that may only tell you that the person’s concealing an emotion. That’s a lie. It’s not going to tell you how they really feel. It may not tell you that they’re the perpetrator of a crime. Take this example – it’s a terrible example, but I have to use it: my wife is found dead. I will be the first suspect because, regrettably, the person most likely to kill their wife is the husband.

So I’m the first suspect but I love my wife. I didn’t kill her. The police are wasting their time and they’re insulting me. Time is going by and they’re not looking for the right person. I could be furious at them and concealing my anger. And so if you spot my concealed anger, it doesn’t mean I killed my wife. It only means that I’m concealing my anger.

More here.