Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



A report in today’s New York Times suggests that Christopher Walken’s Don Vincenzo, in this famous scene from True Romance, may actually have gotten it all wrong. The best liars don’t betray themselves with ticks or facial twitches. The best way to catch a liar out is by listening to what he says.

Liars do not avert their eyes in an interview on average any more than people telling the truth do, researchers report; they do not fidget, sweat or slump in a chair any more often. They may produce distinct, fleeting changes in expression, experts say, but it is not clear yet how useful it is to analyze those.

The article contends that liars usually have a prepared story, which they will adhere to rigidly. But people telling the truth, on the other hand, “tend to recall more extraneous details and may even make mistakes. They are sloppier.”

In several studies, Dr. Colwell and Dr. Hiscock-Anisman have reported one consistent difference: People telling the truth tend to add 20 to 30 percent more external detail than do those who are lying. “This is how memory works, by association,” Dr. Hiscock-Anisman said. “If you’re telling the truth, this mental reinstatement of contexts triggers more and more external details.”

The full article is here.

May 12th, 2009.

3 Responses to “IF THAT’S A FACT, TELL ME… AM I LYING?”

  1. El Kid Says:

    Anyone else think the New York Times might have been pranked somewhere along the line? Dr. Hiscock-Anisman… Really!?

  2. Eoin Says:

    I must admit, that’s pretty hilarious. But Dr Cheryl Hiscock-Anisman does appear to be her real (albeit woefully unfortunate) name

  3. Adrian Says:

    classic great-great-great-great-grandmother diss

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