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Lie defectives

The truth shall set you free, but finding it is no piece of cake

By
11:01am, July 4, 2008

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when trying to determine who deceives. Virtually everyone, even those experienced at dealing with deceivers, detect others’ lies no better than would be expected by chance.

Those sobering conclusions come from the first large-scale analysis of individual differences in deception detection. It takes two to tangle in deceptive encounters, note Charles Bond Jr. of TexasChristianUniversity in Fort Worth and Bella DePaulo of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The two psychologists say their analysis of the findings to date suggest some people are relatively easy to read, while others shroud their intentions in mystery.

A person’s perceived credibility, as reported by volunteers on questionnaires, rather than honesty, plays a major role in whether that person gets branded as a liar, Bond and DePaulo report in the July Psychological Bulletin. Certain people appear either honest or disho

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