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Unraveling the misconception about deception and nervous behavior

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In this article, we attempt to unravel the misconception about deception and nervous behavior. First we will cite research demonstrating that observers believe lie tellers display more nervous behaviors than truth tellers; that observers pay attention to nervous behaviors when they attempt to detect deception; and that lie tellers actually feel more nervous than truth tellers. This is all in alignment with a lie detection approach based on spotting nervous behaviors. We then will argue that the next, vital, step is missing: Research has found that lie tellers generally do not display more than truth tellers the nervous behaviors laypersons and professionals appear to focus on. If observers pay attention to nervous behaviors but lie tellers do not come across as being nervous, lie detection performance is expected to be poor. Research has supported this claim. We finally discuss ideas for research into lie detection based on non-verbal behaviors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1377
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020


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