We've all lied. It could have been when you said you ate your veggies but fed them to the dog. Or when you feigned interested in your date's latest accounting debacle. Lying is part of human nature. Our ancestors did it for survival. Apparently, the ones who survived calamities were the best liars. Since lying is inherent, is there any scientific way to tell if a woman is lying?
The Biology of Lying
Through close attention to facial and body language, a lie can be detected. Most of us don't have a PHD in Criminology like TV's Dr. Lightman on "Lie to Me" or a massive surveillance system. However, there are some facial cues called "micro-expressions" and body positioning that are helpful in deciphering a lie. These expressions are minute and happen quickly. Only the trained eye of a deception expert can analyze these expressions.
Why Women Lie
The University of Massachusetts conducted a research on which gender lied the most. Researcher Robert Feldman discusses the results: "Women lie in order to make her companion feel comfortable, while men lie by seeking to create a better image of themselves."
According to this, women lie by saying the things that men want to hear. Historically, women have been subjected to the control of men. A woman's very survival depended on her father or husband. A common lie women tell men is that they've had an orgasm. If she told the truth, the man's ego would suffer.
Women have been socialized to receive scrutiny. A young girl is taught early to check her appearance, while boys can be messy. This scrutiny breeds numerous double standards in gender roles. In Western society, it is socially acceptable for an older man to date a woman decades younger than him. He is still seen as a bachelor, and garners the envy of his peers and adulation of younger men. When the roles are reversed, the older woman is a "cougar."
21 Signs of Lying
- Facial and body stiffness.
- Increased face touching especially of mouth, ear and nose.
- Under high stress, face and hands become pale.
- Nostrils flare.
- Breathing is audible, deep
- Lips tighten.
- Body takes up less space; shoulders are pulled up, elbows pulled closely to sides.
- Broken eye contact.
- Eyebrows tighten.
- Closed palms.
- Shoulders shrug nonchalantly.
- Frequent swallowing.
- Increased blinking.
- Sudden change in body positioning.
- Liar feels more defensive and puts an object (even folded arms) between themselves and accuser.
- Liar tries to change the subject quickly.
- Body is turned away, not facing accuser.
- Shorter responses.
- Speech is filled with "umms."
- Increased stuttering.
- More words than normal for explanation.
More Signs of Lying
In an attempt to cover up a lie, another lie is told and statements are contradictory. Play close attention to details. Liars tend to overuse humor or sarcasm to mask or deflect. Your instincts are the key here.
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Diana has been a freelance writer for five years now. She enjoys writing about travel, health and fitness. Diana holds a Master of Arts degree from Long Island University in Media Arts. She currently lectures for the Communication Arts Department at Dowling College in Long Island, New York.