Clearly, such tricks may already be used by some expert detectives – but given the folklore surrounding body language, it’s worth emphasising just how powerful persuasion can be compared to the dubious science of body language. Despite their successes, Ormerod and Levine are both keen that others attempt to replicate and expand on their findings, to make sure that they stand up in different situations. “We should watch out for big sweeping claims,” says Levine.
Although the techniques will primarily help law enforcement, the same principles might just help you hunt out the liars in your own life. “I do it with kids all the time,” Ormerod says. The main thing to remember is to keep an open mind and not to jump to early conclusions: just because someone looks nervous, or struggles to remember a crucial detail, does not mean they are guilty. Instead, you should be looking for more general inconsistencies.
There is no fool-proof form of lie detection, but using a little tact, intelligence, and persuasion, you can hope that eventually, the truth will out.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.