Learning about lying

Learning about lying

Looking at whether or not participants could tell the difference between truth and lies, on average, players at the start of the game scored “not much better than chance — about 56 percent accurate. By the end of the game they’re 68 percent accurate, and that’s just playing for about an hour. Law enforcement participants started the game with higher accuracy, 62 percent, and improved to 78 percent. That’s a big jump.”

The game presents players with two different scenarios — one revolves around a job interview, the other a workplace theft — and challenges them to discern whether the actors in those scenarios are lying or telling the truth. They’re also asked to identify the basis of their conclusion.

“Sometimes they guess right but are using incorrect cues, so we give feedback about what cues they should use instead,” Dunbar explained. “There are some reliable cues for deception but the average person doesn’t know about them. The average person thinks a lot of myths and stereotypes and they use their biases and make judgments based on things that aren’t very accurate or scientific.

“If a person said, ‘I think she wasn’t truthful because wasn’t looking at me,’ the game would tell them, ‘Eye contact not a reliable cue, instead you should rely on these real cues,'” she continued. “We try to teach people not to look for individual cues, like tapping a foot or looking up. There is no Pinocchio’s nose, no one thing that will tell you definitively if someone is lying. People will be different, and do different things.”

Here’s where the training comes in. VERITAS improves knowledge of deceptive behavior, Dunbar said, by coaching participants to watch for clusters of cues, or patterns. One such cluster (and potential red flag): uncertainty, tension and cognitive load. Call it a liar’s trifecta.

Source: Face value

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