Contempt is the only asymmetrical facial expression, so it's easy to spot once you're aware of its signs. One researcher has successfully tracked it in couples as a predictor of divorce. When someone is angry at you, you've still got traction with them, but when they display contempt, you've been dismissed.
In the split-second before someone prepares to answer a question, he will consciously or subconsciously evaluate what the best possible answer might be. For a truthful person, the best possible answer might omit some information. It might have a few extraneous details. But it will still offer the information requested.
Speaking of trust, ever since I wrote this book, 'Liespotting,' no one wants to meet me in person anymore - no, no, no, no, no. They say, 'It's okay. We'll email you.' I can't even get a coffee date at Starbucks. My husband's like, 'Honey, deception? Maybe you could have focused on cooking. How about French cooking?'
Tales of cheating on school and college tests are rife. There have been instances where teachers have given students test answers in order to make themselves look good on their performance reviews. Mentors who should be teaching the opposite are sending a message that lying and cheating are acceptable.
Truth-tellers who expect others to believe them tend to speak naturally and un-self-consciously. But if they don't expect to be believed, they may try too hard to seem honest. Unfortunately, the result makes them sound less believable. Obviously, then, not every oddly phrased statement is a lie.
Deception can cost billions. Think Enron, Madoff, the mortgage crisis. Or in the case of double agents and traitors, like Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames, lies can betray our country. They can compromise our security. They can undermine democracy. They can cause the deaths of those that defend us.
Studies by several different researchers have shown that the number of lies we're told each day is anywhere from 20 - 200. To many, that will seem shockingly high. Yet it isn't, in light of humans being ill-suited to detect lies. The average human can detect a lie only 54% of the time.