There are three types of lies: Omission, where someone holds out on the facts; commission, where someone states facts that are untrue; and paltering, where someone uses true facts to mislead you. It isn't always easy to detect, but there are a few telltale signs.
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In the past, we've shown you how to be an effective liar. But it's important to not fall into the traps of others - especially those that lie to us most often. Here's how to tell when a CEO or a politician's making false promises.
Misusing statistics is one of the most powerful ways to lie. Normally, we teach you how to avoid misinterpreting statistics, but knowing how numbers are manipulated can help you spot when it happens. To that end, we're going to show you how to make data say whatever the hell you want to back up any wrong idea you have.
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.
Getting rid of your tells is hard to do, assuming you even know what they are. If you want to be a better liar, however, you can create a fake tell so others can't figure out when you're actually lying.
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.
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.
Catching a liar in person usually means looking for a variety of nonverbal cues, but that's not as easy when it's written in a text message or email. For that, The Wall Street Journal suggests looking for subtle changes in how someone words things.
You can never prove someone is lying just by looking at non-verbal cues -- but they can let you know when something might be off. David DeSteno, a professor of psychology at Northeastern University, conducted a thorough study and found four non-verbal indicators you might want to look for.
We lie. A lot. Up to 200 times per day. And it's bad for us. So what would happen if you were completely honest? Even for just a day?