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Clever liars cover their tracks

July 1, 2012

Friday, March 31. 2006

When people lie, they tend to stay still; acutely aware their body language might give them away, Italian and British researchers have found.

The study, in Journal of Nonverbal Behaviour, monitored 130 volunteers asked to make a series of honest and dishonest statements.

Psychologist Dr Samantha Mann, co-author of the study, said liars tried very hard to stay still.

She added: “People who are lying have to think harder, and when we think harder we tend to be a lot stiller, with fewer movements, because we are concentrating harder.”

She added: “Most people tend to refrain from making movements at all.”

Liars also went to huge lengths to cover their tracks, especially when challenged over whether they were telling the truth, such as, the use of certain types of hand gestures to reinforce the point.

Dr Peter Bull, an expert psychologist in the link between deception and body language, said much closer analysis of what the subjects were saying when they did certain types of gestures was needed.

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