Tag Archives: Interview Techniques

Never Tell a Dirty Lie

The NY Times has a thought-provoking article on lying and getting at the truth.

The below are some of the highlights from article, Judging Honesty by Words, Not Fidgets:

  • “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.”
  • “No brain-imaging machine can reliably distinguish a doctored story from the truthful one, for instance; ditto for polygraphs…”
  • “One broad, straightforward principle has changed police work in Britain: seek information, not a confession.”
  • Dr. Bull (heck of a name for somebody who studies lying) says “It’s a lot like the old ‘Columbo’ show, you know, where he pretends to be an idiot but he’s gathered a lot of evidence.”
  • columbo

  • “Kevin Colwell…says that people concocting a story prepare a script that is tight and lacking in detail.”
  • “People telling the truth tend to add 20 to 30 percent more external detail than do those who are lying.”
  • “…challenging people with pieces of previously gathered evidence, gradually introduced throughout an investigative interview, increases the strain on liars.”
  • “And it all can be done without threats or abuse, which is easier on officers and suspects. Detective Columbo, it turns out, was not just made for TV.”

Maybe I’ll buy myself a wrinkled raincoat and some cigars…