The Language of Lying – Mayu

Pamela Meyer said, “Lying is an attempt to bridge that gap about who we wish we were, how we wish we could be, with what we’re really like.” I think this image shows what lying really is. It covers up who we really are with an unrealistic mask of ourselves.

From medieval torture devices to the 400-pound electroencephalogram, which records the activity of the brain, humans have sought ways of lie detecting throughout history. However, most can be fooled, and none are considered reliable enough. However, prevailing amongst these machines and tools is communication science. Professionals are armed with the knowledge of science, instead of these unreliable tools, and get to the truth about 94% of the time. I chose this because it interested me, how people lie, why they lie and what the human body does in response to this. Another reason is that many crime shows show interrogation and truth serums and I wanted to compare the fantastical tools and the real ones.

I have learned that according to linguistic text analysis, which is a branch of science which focuses on text, liars tend to follow 4 patterns when speaking. A study shows that fantastical stories are written drastically differently compared to written true stories. This shows that humans, although very subtly, speak and write differently when telling the truth and when we lie. First, humans tend to minimise self-reference when lying. For example, when lying, one might say, “absolutely no party took place at this house,” compared to a simple, “I didn’t host a party here,” the speaker of the first statement is distancing himself from the speaker. Second, liars tend to be more negative and use negative language because they are guilty of lying. For example, “sorry, my stupid phone died. Ugh.”¬†Third, liars tend to explain events in simple terms, since the human brain struggles to build complex lies. Trained lie spotters ask them to repeat the story backward, fishing out the truth in the liar’s words. Finally, liars tend to speak and write in a complicated way, adding irrelevant information to cover up the lie.¬†

Society, generally, is against lying and deception. However, it is important to know that humans lie from an early age since we were babies. We fake cry, bluff and lie. One should not be severely punished for some lies, as most are white lies. I felt that this issue was important to understand because it can be beneficial to spot a lie, even in simple situations such as when shopping and deciding if a deal is good enough. This has changed my way of wellness as I am now aware of wellness as I now know the effects and what the body does when we lie. This research has expanded my learning and knowledge as once again, I have been faced with the complexity of the human brain.

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