Tagged With lying

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Polygraph machines, better known as lie detectors, are crap. They can't tell whether you're lying, just whether your body is doing some of the things that bodies do when we're nervous: Sweating, for example. But there are a few tricks that, according to rumour, can let you mess with the results.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Polygraph tests often aren't admissible in court because they can't actually detect lies, but instead physical indications that often accompany them. Your intentions aside, it's good to know how to beat the polygraph to ensure it doesn't mistake anxiety for untruths.

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In this episode we're talking about bullshit: What it is, how to detect it, and how to call it out. First, staff writer Nick Douglas joins us for a rousing game of "Two Truths and a Lie". Then we talk to Carl Bergstrom and Jevin West, professors at the University of Washington who teach a course called Calling Bullshit. Finally, Alice talks about why we're so susceptible to bullshit with staff writer Beth Skwarecki, who writes the Bullshit Resistance School column right here on Lifehacker.

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Whether you're trying to finagle the truth from a teenager, or you suspect a friend is fabricating a story, catching someone in a lie takes a bit of effort. Scientific American took a look at military interrogation tactics to see what works in everyday life and found asking left-field questions is a good way to trip up a liar.

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Not every lie is bad. Some lies keep people happy and keep our relationships strong. Whether you're keeping a close friend's secret or telling our mother we love the sweater she knitted us, some lies are necessary -- even helpful. Before you lie, though, ask yourself a few questions to see if a lie is really worth telling.

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We all know that our willpower can be drained as the day progresses, but it turns out that as we become more tired, we lose all kinds of faculties. Scientific American points out that time time of day can an effect on whether or not we tell the truth.

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When someone is lying about something, they're usually unconsciously trying to distance themselves from the situation to make the lie more tolerable to tell. As The Wall Street Journal points out, this means that when people lie they tend to use the word "I" a lot less.