Deception can be improved

A new study by Northwestern University shows that the art of deception is more accessible than previously thought, it can be improved by spending some effort on the theoretical and practical training.


Previous studies have found that when you try to lie to people usually spend more time and make more mistakes than to tell the truth, because they have to keep two conflicting answers in the head and suppress honest answer. Accordingly, the aim of this study was: to find out whether you can learn how to lie with more automaticity and less effort.

The study may be useful in the work of law enforcement and the use of lie detector, allowing to effectively combat fraud in more realistic situations.

Scientists have found that the mere theoretical instruction helps to significantly reduce the response time associated with false answers.

The study participants were divided into two groups. The control group — a group of instructions — recommended speed lies and make fewer mistakes, but not given the time to prepare the false answers. The second group — training — practical training took place in the acceleration of false responses, and, in addition, she was given time to prepare. As a result, in a group, in practice, to improve their skills, the difference between false and true answers were completely eliminated.

"We found that to learn to lie better than we thought, and after the workshops targeted level of change," — said Xiaoqing Hu, the lead author of the study and doctoral student in psychology, Northwestern University.

What is surprising is that even in a group briefing participants who are not given time to prepare, but only recommended to speed up the answers and make fewer errors, were able to significantly reduce the response time for a false answer.

"It was really unexpected, as evidenced by the considerable flexibility of the people. After learning that is expected of them, they do not want to be exposed, "- said Hu, noting that the results can help in the fight against crime.

"In real life, between the crime and the interrogation is usually a period of time. Most people have the opportunity to prepare and practice of fraud prior to the interrogation. " However, in previous similar studies, the participants are usually given very little time to prepare.

Lie detector tests are most often based on physiological reactions. Hu plans to follow-up study, which will have to answer the question is whether the additional training is not only to changes in behavior, studied in this work, but also to physiological changes.

Category: Scientists, experts, science

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