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Recognizing key deception strategies

March 13, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Can you tell when someone is lying to you? Would you know what it means when someone bites their lip or clears their throat when talking to you? If you know what to look for then you can see right through their deception.Crossing the arms, rubbing your eye, or looking up to the left or to the right, what does this body language mean?

Clearing of the throat or even dots in the middle of the zeros on a check, is someone telling you something without telling you something?

Ken Osborn is an expert in deception awareness. The theatre department at LA Valley College helped act out body language scenarios.

In one situation a couple negotiated for a new car.

"I have spoken to my manager and he said that the absolute lowest we can go is $550 a month," said the acting car salesman.

The two actors playing the couple continued to negotiate the price of the car. Meantime the salespersons body language and tone seemed to allow the bargaining.

So how did the couple know the salesperson would go lower?

"They noticed that when the car salesman upwardly inflected the price, that was supposedly the manager's lowest price, they knew that was potentially deception," said Ken Osborn.

In another scene, a woman tries to choose which type of car wash to get.

The actress in this scene is trying to get details about the various services at the car wash. While the actor, who is playing the manager, explains the details he touches his nose.

"One of the things he did that she was very wise to recognize was as he was discussing the differences in the car wash he touched his nose. A nose touch is a very common indicator of deception," said Osborn.

Osborn says there are numerous tip offs to what people are thinking.

Two scenarios played out demonstrated the lip bite and the nose rub. But the crown scratch and the neck rub, Osborn says are signs of stress.

"A crown scratch is an escalated gesture of stress. When we experience mild amounts of stress we will jaw scratch. When that stress escalates we will crown scratch. When it escalates further we will neck rub," said Osborn.

And it's not only body language that translates into deception.

"Speech disturbances is one of the best things to look for. When somebody tries to say something and they clear their throat, be aware. That is a potential red flag. It does not always mean that they are lying, but it could mean that," said Osborn.

If you are hiring a nanny, buying a car or about to get your car repaired knowing when you are hearing the truth could make a difference in your everyday life.

Osborn says that 55 percent of the impact of our messages comes from body language not words.

 

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