Our yearning to discern deception so that we can protect ourselves from abuse, is ancient and almost primal — a marketable commodity for mystics and media manipulators alike. In one of the best explorations of the subject, Sam Harris defined lying as “both a failure of understanding and an unwillingness to be understood.” Susan Sontag wrote in her diary that “ordinary language is an accretion of lies.” But language itself, it turns out, is a remarkable lie-detector — the closest we can get to peering into another’s mind to understand motive and recognize deception.
From Noah Zandan and TED Ed comes this revelatory short animation on how to spot a liar, using communications science and linguistic text analysis to explore the four most common patterns in the subconscious language of deception.
Liars reference themselves less when making deceptive statements. They write or talk more about others, often using the third person to distance and disassociate themselves from their life.
Liars tend to be more negative because, on a subconscious level, they feel guilty about lying.