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Eye Contact & Detecting Deception

We learn to monitor our eye contact at an early age therefore eye contact is not a reliable sign of deception.

Practical Kinesic Interview & Interrogation® has taught for years that eye contact is an unreliable cue to deception while many other training courses erroneously teach poor eye contact as a cornerstone to spotting deception.

Abstract:

Eye gaze plays a pivotal role during communication. When interacting deceptively, it is commonly believed that the deceiver will break eye contact and look downward. We examined whether children’s gaze behavior when lying is consistent with this belief. …Younger participants (7- and 9-year-olds) broke eye contact significantly more when lying compared with other conditions. Also, their averted gaze when lying differed significantly from their gaze display in other conditions. In contrast, older participants did not differ in their durations of eye contact or averted gaze across conditions. Participants’ knowledge about eye gaze and deception increased with age. This knowledge significantly predicted their actual gaze behavior when lying. These findings suggest that with increased age, participants became increasingly sophisticated in their use of display rule knowledge to conceal their deception.

Stan B. Walters, CSP “The Lie Guy®”
Practical Kinesic Interview & Interrogation®

YouTube: Eye Contact and Lying

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