Far From Truth: Most People Think They Are Very Good At Lie Detecting

Most people think they are very good lie detectors but that is wishful thinking and so far from reality.
Far From Truth: Most People Think They Are Very Good At Lie Detecting

Humans as lie spotters


Most people think they are good lie detectors. That is wishful thinking and so far from reality. Learn, why this is risky for your decision-making.

Wishful thinking: Lies are rarely recognized


Most people think that they are very good lie detectors, but that is wishful thinking and so far from reality.

Some people are indeed lie detectors by nature, without special training. But these are rare exceptions. Of course, we are much better at telling lies than at recognizing them. We have much more practice in that. Without special training, most people, even those in professions where the uncovering of lies is critical, achieve a mediocre lie detection rate.

With specific knowledge and practice, people can achieve a pretty good lie detection rate. The more you train, the more accurate your lie detection skills will become. Especially, the observation of microexpressions needs a lot of time to improve. But you don’t want to practice it all the time. You need to know when to turn it on. This will make you more concentrated if you use these abilities.




With familiar people, it is particularly difficult to recognize lies


If we know a person well, we believe we will be able to see the treacherous signs. The truth is that lie detection is made more difficult because the natural attitude for humans is to believe the people they are emotionally close to.

Yes, most people believe that they can tell whether their partner, child, or close friend is lying to them. However, this is rarely the case because there are two main factors: Overconfidence and closeness. These two factors lead to a loss of objectivity that prevents a loved one from seeing otherwise obvious signs of deception.




Body language


What’s said can’t always be checked in lie detection. Much more critical is how things are said and how a person behaves in communication. The non-verbal cues of our body language say more than most of us realize. Relying only on what is said is inherently unreliable. Accurate lie recognition is based on a combination of what you are told and what you observe. Congruence plays a particularly important role here.

Assess your ability to recognize lies realistically. This can help you to make better decisions. Especially when your gut gives you a signal to stay alert. Don’t reject it!

Preparation of important conversations and negotiations


Communication can be very easy. But often it is not. Sometimes we say things and then later notice from the reaction of our conversation partners that they seem to have spoken to someone completely different. I didn't say that with the best will in the world. - Or did I say that after all?

More or less consciously, conversations are about convincing other people of something - be it a special offer, your personality, a perspective, or a necessity. If this doesn't happen fast enough and above all not exactly to the point and descriptively, the person we are talking to quickly loses interest, and we lose the hoped-for opportunity. — Conversation failed.

You can let me support you in the preparation of your conversations and negotiations (to be on the safe side: no legal advice!). Find out how you and your message are perceived (arguments, body language, language, voice, and much more). I will familiarize you with effective tools and communication strategies. Develop your psychological skills, learn to stay calm, act confidently, remain authentic, and finally convince.

Just ask me personally


Please post any questions that may be of interest to other readers in the comments. Looking for professional help?

If you are interested in coaching, training or consulting, if you have organizational questions, or if you want to make an appointment, you can reach me best via this contact form (you can choose if you want to enter your personal data) or via e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com). You can also reach me by phone at +49(0)30 864 213 68 or by cell phone at +49(0)1577 704 53 56 from Monday to Thursday from 9:00 to 18:00. Most of the time I am in sessions, so please leave a message with your phone number in Germany. Please remember to be very specific about the reason for your call. I will get back to you as soon as possible. The privacy policy can be found here.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a microexpression?

Micro expressions are a very brief, involuntary facial expressions humans make when experiencing an emotion. They usually last 0.5 to 4.0 seconds and cannot be faked

Can you read emotions from faces?

The brain is able to understand faces is similar across cultures, so we all can recognize basic emotions, such as happiness or sadness, when looking at other faces. We even perceive micro expressions, but we do not register them consciously. Therefore, we do not care for or trust our gut feelings. Instinctively, we receive a lot of information.



How good are you at lie detecting and how do you do it?

1 Comment

  1. You are right!


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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 20th, 2023
Translation: ./.
German version:

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