In this new experiment, around 70% of them correctly identified the lie - suggesting either that participants were good lie detectors or Jeremy is not a very good liar! There was no difference between those who saw the video and those who only heard the soundtrack, suggesting that the visual signals (such as facial expressions and body language) do not help people detect lies. Finally, we found that people with a science background were the best lie detectors, followed by visual artists, engineers, and finally mathematicians. Source: Quirkology.com
The part that caught my attention with this experiment was the findings about the percentage of those who correctly identified the lie without the use of visual signals. The question I had was could people be getting their clues from reverse speech?
Link to web page to see the videos: The Lying Experiment
In interview “A” Jeremy is describing why the movie “The Core” is his favorite movie. In interview “B” he is describing why his favorite movie is the “The Fifth Element”. In the third interview he reveals which movie he hates.
In interview “A” I found 3 examples of reverse speech. In interview “B” and the third interview I found no reverse speech.
Here are the results. The brackets [ ] indicate where the reversal occurs. Click on the mp3 to hear the reversal.
…It's about how the earth is going to lose its magnetic field because the magma inside the planet stops rotating. And it's down to a heroic band of scientists to go into the [center of the planet], and to start the magma rotating again.
The film is really about the interplay. The relationship between this group of scientists. And you got a hero, and you've got a villain. [And they're slightly pantomime] in the way they behave...
...but [the the relationships between them are great] fun to watch.
It is clear as he describes the plot line he doesn’t like it. For him the plot is nothing more than “Stand out foolishness”. The second two reversals center around how the characters and their relationships are portrayed, which he doesn’t like.
The lack of reverse speech from interview “B” would indicate that he should be telling the truth, because there are no speech reversals to correct the forward speech.
In the third video he says “I absolutely hate The Core!” He continues “The science is rubbish. The acting is a bit laden. The whole thing seems to be some sort of sausage factory science fiction. I really don’t think anybody gave an awful lot of thought to anything on the film at all.”
His response in the third video is congruent with his reverse speech from interview “A” regarding The Core. Knowing his true thoughts that he does not like the movie The Core, proves the accuracy of reverse speech!
Remember, the experiment was for people to find the lie. Without any visual clues, my hypothesis would be the unconscious clues of reverse speech must have played a significant role in 70% of the people correctly detecting the lie. If the participants heard these examples of Jeremy's reverse speech, prior to knowing his answer, is there any reason to believe the percentage of people correctly detecting the lie couldn't have been a 100% accuracy rate?
In Quirkology, Prof Wiseman describes his work into the psychology of deception, and reveals how to tell when someone is lying.
Prof Wiseman conducted two interviews with the Editor of New Scientist, Jeremy Webb. Each time Jeremy was asked about his favorite film. In one interview he told the truth, and in the other he lied.
In 2007, over 16,000 people took part in an online Quirkology experiment to discover if they could detect Jeremy's lie. Some of them were shown both the video and soundtrack, whilst others only heard the soundtrack. Would this affect the results? Finally, before taking part in the study, everyone was asked to indicate whether they had a background in science or the arts. Would scientists prove to be better or worse at detecting the lies?
Prof Wiseman has carried out this experiment several times in the past, with previous interviewees including the political interviewer Sir Robin Day, and Hollywood actor Leslie Nielsen. The results of this work showed that people are not very good at