How to catch someone lying?

Posted on March 14, 2015

Photo: flickr

The purpose of these airport security screening interviews is to catch deceptive people. Would you be able to spot someone that is lying? What if you let a criminal through the security? Most importantly, can these few liars be caught effectively?

In a field study by Thomas Ormerod and Coral Dando, they did an experiment on two different methods of screening for deception.

1. Lookout of suspicious signs and stick to a set of scripted questions to ask.
2. Ask open-ended questions that are catered to the passenger’s background during the security interview.

The results showed a significant difference in those that were trained with the interview technique as they caught about 70% of deceptive passengers compared to the mere 5% of those that used the traditional method.
It was estimate that trained interviewers takes about 3 minutes with each passenger. Why the short amount time? Open-ended questions were asked to allow the passengers to speak. Thus, being different from the traditional way on that point.

Open-ended questions of the person background make its hard for the interviewer not to detect the lie as information about how to get to like one’s workplace is second-nature.

This results is applicable to daily life situations, thus it is practical as well.


Category(s):Workplace Issues

Source material from Psychology Today


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