Monday, October 11, 2010

That lil thing you do -- lying -- I can bloody well see it!

I woke up late today. Usually my time's at 5.00am but I got around at 6.15am. Of course, after a quick shower and that treasure hunt for my under-- I mean neck tie, I started the walk from home to school carrying around 15 SPBT textbooks which I was supposed to return (yes, I'm missing two textbooks; don't blame me, I'm only human!).

Then this happened.

''Dude, your class
(5C) has its book-returning session tomorrow. Today is 5B's turn.''

See, no one actually told me that.

Well, that out of the way, it turned out to be quite an interesting day. No class, some noobs had their Accounts exams, free period all day. Class-hopping joy, what fun.

''Uh can we borrow Bob for a moment?''

''Sure,'' *raises eyebrow in a very suggestive way* ''what for?''

Ah, and there was that little fight in which I got roped into; some relationship crisis. I didn't ask to be a part of it, I never wanted to, but fate's just mean sometimes, and before you know it, the boyfriend wants to pull my guts out through my nostrils and the girlfriend wants me to be her output for tears.
I was nice, too nice, like someone pointed out, and went along with it.
And this is the part where it got cool. I mean, really cool. Really cool. Let me try that in Italic and Bold. Really cool. Well, in my opinion anyway.

''Is he mad?''

''No, he's not!'' *eyes looking down, nodding while saying otherwise, raised voice pitch*

''You're lying.''

''Look, he is not mad and I am not lying!'' *repitition of statement* ''Look, I thought you wanted to help me!'' *changes subject, classic deflection*

''If you're lying to me, I can't do squat. I need to know what exactly happened.''

*sighs* ''Okay... this--''

Whoa, spoilers there, and there's that confidentiality agreement. I helped the girl out, but she was trying to cheat me by trying to cut me from the whole truth. I got everything out in the end, using that simple technique of just looking into the face. Face-reading, a deception expert would call it.

Deception expert is a real occupation. The science of FACS (Facial Action Coding System) is applied here. Discovered by Dr. Paul Ekman in 1970s, the good doctor theorised that every face that showed emotion, any particular emotion, joy, hate, contempt, surprise; all of these emotions had their own specific features formed by the facial muscles, and it's the same for all humans. Yes, it's universal. If Obama and Clinton had something to hide, they'd have the same look on their faces, eyebrows joined together, upper eyelids raised while lower eyelids tensioned and the muscles around the mouth tightened. The look of fear of that secret to be found out.

Spawned a TV-series too. Season 3 up this October.

I'm not saying I'm as good as that bloke up there, or any of those scientists. But I love learning the technique. True scientist say this is BS, since psychology plays a large part in FACS and psychology has been acknowledged as ''soft science''.

I'd like to think I saved someone's relationship today. But since I did play a part in destabilising that relationship somewhere in the past, I'm too ashamed to say it out loud.

There's another technique in detecting a lie, that is by body movement. The scientists call it ''gestural emblems''. A gestural emblem is something the body does involuntarily because of the loss of synch between mind and body when the person lies. This lost synchronisation however can be overcome if the person is a pathological liar, someone who has full control over his muscles, thus disallowing any involuntary movement.

An example of a gestural emblem is the defensive posture. When a person lies, and the lie is opposed by the listener, the liar will go into a stance called the defensive posture, crossed arms, chest in and usually followed by a few steps back. These movements show the need to reinforce the lie, withdraw and defend. We have President Obama for a demonstration.

Though we can say Obama is just being defensive in this picture; I mean, it is a talk with the opposition.

The involuntary muscle movement on the face is harder to catch, according to deception expert Dr. Ekman since usually the liars are betrayed by their emotions within a 1/5 of a second. A hidden smile, a look of contempt, a flash of fear, or the dilation of the pupils. A quick and sharp eye can catch these looks.

FACS is a lovely thing, don't you think? We really should appreciate Dr. Ekman's work. A deception expert is on my list of careers now.

In the end, emotions betray lies. Philosophic, eh?

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