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to spot someone
who's not telling the truth
In a famous fairy story, Pinocchio's nose
grew longer when he was telling
Surprisingly, most of us
when we are not
which are just as obvious.
Personnel managers in companies are learning to look
to pick out dishonest employees. They
hope to take credit for
weeding out a future Nick Leeson, the man
blamed for ruining Barings Bank, before their firm suffers a
fate. Here are seven
You touch your nose more often. The
tissues in your
become swollen with blood when you lie,
causing it to itch.
So you touch your nose frequently to stop it itching.
avoid looking directly at people - or you look at
them too much. Partly because telling lies takes concentration,
tend to look away when you are lying. Or you
stare at the
person for too long, checking to see that they believe you.
Closeness is normally a sign of
trust. You try to exaggerate how close you are by leaning forwards
when you lie.
You pull your
earlobe. No one seems to know why this
happens, but most of us do it. Police forces in Europe are trained
to watch for this behaviour when interviewing criminals.
tap your feet. This normally happens when you are
sitting down, especially if your legs are crossed. As the lie is
told, a foot starts tapping or waves in the air.
You give too much information. You tell stories that
are too elaborate, structured, polished and complete. You try to
make absolutely certain that someone will believe you by giving
them fifteen different reasons. An honest person would have the
confidence to give one reason.
stumble in your speech. You start to make
mistakes in what you are saying, and use ‘um’ and ‘er’ a
lot more, as you try to give yourself time to invent your lie.
But it isn't always
that easy. Skilful liars can learn
to suppress these
signs. Most of us believe, wrongly, that we are easily able to spot
liars. In fact,
research has shown that people do better at spotting lies
when they can't see the person lying. And strangely people are almost as
good at detecting
falsehood when they have just read someone's words.
The truth is that honesty is
over-valued. Scientists at the University of
California have shown that people lie
on average 200 times a day. That's
about once every 8 minutes! True, most of them are of the
see you' and
'I love your new dress' sort, but they are still
untrue. However, as one of the University researchers
'Society would be terrible if people started telling the truth. Anyone who
did would be regarded with suspicion'
to give off: to show, to give out (demostramos)
give-away signs: revealing signals (señales
to pick out: to distinguish, to detect (para detectar)
weeding out: removing (eliminar)
fate: destiny (destino)
tell-tale: revealing (reveladoras)
tissues: cells (tejidos)
become swollen: distend
to swell/swelled/swollen: to distend (hincharse)
causing it to itch: irritating
you avoid: you abstain from (evitas)
to: you have
a tendency to (tiendes
stare: you look at with fixed eyes (miras fijo)
closeness: intimacy, nearness (la
fleshy part of the ear (lóbulo de la oreja)
your feet (golpeas los pies
(in this context)
words (te equivocas
that easy (american colloquialism= so easy (tan
to suppress: (in this context)
to try to avoid doing something
research: investigation (la
falsehood: falsity (la falsedad)