To tell a convincing bold faced lie to another person, for some involves some very strong emotions. The emotions involved in lying such as guilt, nervousness, fear of getting caught, and excitement or pleasure at getting away with the lie and attempts to conceal these emotions may in fact be the seeds to destruction for a deceptive person. The attempts at trying to conceal the strong felt emotions are what give the liar away through non-verbal behavior, especially facial expressions. Research has shown that many people may be very capable of telling a lie through speech, but are unaware of their involuntary facial actions, which can cause leakage in the form of facial expressions (FACIAL EXPRESSIONS AND EMOTINO). Facial expressions, or cues to deception that are relied on include gaze aversion, pupil dilation, smiles, overall pleasantness of the face and the more subtle form of facial leakage called Micro-expressions. How often these cues are relied upon has been found to be independent of whether or not there is actual evidence that these facial characteristics are actual indicators of deception. This paper will discuss the stereotypical cues that professional lie detectors (i.e. police officers, customs officers, and detectives) and lay people (i.e. the general public) rely on to detect deception, as well as the facial cues that are actually good indicators of deception.
In general the face contains two messages, what the liar wants you to see, their macro expressions, and what the liar is trying to conceal which may be revealed through their facial expressions. Moreover, the face tells us what emotion the person is feeling, how strongly they feel this emotion as well as, according to EKMAN, if two emotions are blended together (TELLING LIES). Every expression portrayed on our faces is motivated by our emotions. Paul Ekman argues that our facial expressions are involuntary actions produced by true felt emotions (TELLING LIES).
A common misconception made by the majority of the public as well as professional lie detectors is that when someone looks away when they are talking to you (i.e. gaze aversion) that they are being deceptive. For instance, it is not uncommon to hear a girlfriend tell her boyfriend to look her right in the eyes and tell the truth. Stereotypical indicators of deceptions (cues that have been shown to be unreliable), such as gaze aversion and actual indicators of deceptions (cues that have been shown to be reliable) were studied. Vrij and Semin (1996) asked subjects to fill out a questionnaire regarding what types of cues they associated with lying, and found that despite proof that the cues do not actually indicate deception, subjects still relied on them. The subjects included a sample of the general public (e.g. students), professional lie detectors (e.g. customs officers, police detectives, prison guards, and police officers), as well as a sample of prisoners. The results indicate that the students and...