Date:21 November 2012
The eyes may be the window to the soul, but they do not offer a reliable view of who is telling the truth.
Shifty-eyed liars always give themselves away: they look to the left when they’re telling the truth but look to the right when they’re fi bbing. At least that’s what proponents of neurolinguistic programming teach in investigator-training courses. But the claim doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, according to a series of studies by psychologists in the UK and Canada.
In addition to lab studies with volunteers, the researchers analysed 52 news videos of people pleading for the safe return of a missing relative. In half of the videos, later evidence revealed that the speakers actually had been lying – but eye-movement analyses showed no differences between the liars and the truth tellers. – AH