Magazine article USA TODAY

We Can Tell When You're Lying

Magazine article USA TODAY

We Can Tell When You're Lying

Article excerpt

When trying to lie your way through any situation, keep a tight rein on your zygo maticus major and your orbicularis oculi. They will give you away faster than a snitch--or so says social psychologist Mark Frank, whose research on human facial expressions in situations of high-stakes deception debunks myths that have permeated police and security training for decades. His work has come to be recognized by security officials in the U.S. and abroad as a useful tool in the identification and interrogation of terrorist suspects.

By applying computer technology to the emotion-driven nature of nonverbal communication, Frank, a professor of communication in the School of Informatics at the University at Buffalo (N.Y.), has devised methods to recognize and read the conscious and unconscious behavioral cues that suggest deceit.

"It can be applied to the training of security checkpoint personnel to help them identify and decode 'hot spots,' the subtle conversational cues and fleeting flashes of expression that betray buried emotions or suggest lines of additional inquiry," he says. …

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