Monday, May 14, 2012

Lie Detection Through Body Language With Darren Brown

I was in a little lie-detection game in elementary school, at which I failed miserably. Among other tests, this made me think I can't detect lies. Turns out I'm wrong.

Part two is about intuition, planned for tomorrow. Don't forget I'm looking for disagreement experiment participants. Learn about ethics, learn about disagreement! Also, prove you care about ethics by spending actual effort on pinning them down.

Suggest trying it out yourself because this will spoil the data.

I welcome suggestions that I somehow didn't get it right, that I only thought I got it right, as long as you can go into details. Will return to this in part two.

I went three for three.
I was expecting to go zero.

Derren was clearly doing his subtle convincing trick, and getting them to focus on lying about the cylinders. I did two of them by actually reading the body language and such - I don't know if Brown was doing that too - and the third I'm not sure how I did it.

Number one. "Pretty much that it's an eight cylinder. [...] Fact number four, pretty much...all the types of can manoeuvre it from the steering wheel."

What's going through his head; "Oh crap, I said 'pretty much.' I do that when I lie." He then projects, and thinks Brown can certainly see that this is his tell. So he says it again, this time on purpose. It almost worked on me, certainly. It came down to whether his looking down and awkwardness was normal or not.

In hindsight I suspect his awkwardness on fact four was the result of his confidence being jarred by realizing he did a tell. Self-awareness is self-destructive for liars... He's distracted by working out how to lie better, and can't focus well on what he's saying.

For the second, as he was talking about the cylinders, I immediately started thinking, "The first lied about the cylinders -" and then Brown interrupted me with the answer. This one was probably a bit too subtle for me to have used it in a real situation, I was gearing up to overthink it. Hard to tell because of the interruption before I could decide on my answer. Very easy to fool myself into thinking I'd have gotten the right answer in cases like these, so impossible to conclude I would have even if I would in fact have.

My subconscious is thinking about lying, because it detected a lie, and so my consciousness gets directed toward thinking about lying through resonance, priming, whatever you want to call it. The detectable difference is that it was the only part of the paragraph which is associated with me thinking about lying. Now I just have to convince my subconscious to think louder, or learn to think quieter myself, so I stop drowning it out. Problem is that if I intentionally don't think at all, it shuts down all thinking, not just conscious, rational thinking. I have to think, just...quietly. (Hmm, putting that in words may have given me an idea...)

I wasn't even sure at the time about my memory of the first lying about cylinders. However, I remembered the first lying about cylinders just as the second lied about cylinders. Gee, why might I do that. Notably, I'm still not sure how my subconscious knew he was lying there - perhaps I was picking up Brown's nudges.

Come to think, the second also felt jarring. "Hey, I was thinking about #1, and Derren's talking, don't interrupt." That's probably reliable too, I'm eager to test it.

Number three, two separate ways. First, I started thinking about how I'd arrange my lies, and my first instinct was to make it the first lie, because the normal thing is to put it in the middle so it doesn't get too much attention. The justification is probably B.S., but it is also subconscious-speak and likely your subconscious speaks the same code.
Secondly, once he started thinking, on his first thought, he looked down, while on the second and third, he made eye contact. "I thought I was pretty stone faced." Amusing.

"I know everything about that car," is also a lie. He may or may not be aware it is a lie, but he could figure it out if he wanted to. Specifically, it is bravado.

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