LIE DETECTION

LIE DETECTION

Despite the inherent difficulties of detecting a lie, social scientists are beginning to better understand the psychological, emotional, and behavioral cues associated with deceit. To date three approaches have demonstrated the most promise: 1) emotional, 2) cognitive, and 3) attempted control.12

Emotional Approach

Lies fail because of the difficulty concealing or falsifying emotions around others.13 Strong feelings and many of the behaviors they produce are beyond conscious control. Not all lies involve emotions, but those that do often present special problems for the liar.

People do not choose the type of emotion they will experience, when they will feel it, or how intense it will be.14 Sometimes it is possible for a person to dampen a response; however, it is almost impossible to eliminate all evidence of feelings. This is especially true when the stakes are high, as they often are during an investigative interview.

Strong emotional responses activate the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which, in turn, produces physiological, behavioral, and cognitive changes.15Physiologically the release of adrenaline and glucocorticoids causes increased blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, and body temperature. Thus, a person facing a threat often exhibits flushing or blanching, perspiration, and nervous energy. Strong negative emotional responses may cause behavioral withdrawal—gaze aversion, decreased body orientation, and diminished illustrators.16 These changes accompany physical (imminent assault) and psychological (loss of self) threats.

Most liars only demonstrate signs of emotion, ANS activation, and other deceit-associated cues when the stakes are high. Emotional activation is strongest when the liar has something to gain or lose. When the stakes are low, there is little chance the subject will demonstrate any of the cues being discussed.17 Most investigative interviews involve high stakes and potentially negative consequences; however, subjects with high levels of confidence in their ability to lie or those who feel they have little to gain or lose may be difficult to identify.

Emotional cues fall into two broad categories—lying about feelings and feelings about lying.18 In the first instance, people lie about what they are feeling. For example, criminals who are fearful during an interview may laugh or cover their faces to hide true feelings. In the second case, lying often generates strong feelings of guilt, anxiety, or fear that are separate from actual guilt or innocence. A person who lies during an interview but recognizes that deceit is ethically wrong may feel guilty, or the individual might experience excitement at the thought of fooling the investigator. In either case, the person must conceal those feelings.

There are three emotions closely associated with deceit: 1) fear, 2) guilt, and 3) delight.19 Fear is a reaction to the threat of physical or psychological harm brought on by high-stakes lies. The body’s response is to produce physiological changes—muscle tension and increased body temperature, respiration, and heartbeat. The level of fear depends on the person’s belief in their lying skills and the stakes involved. Some people are naturally gifted liars who have learned from experience that it is easy to fool others. They rarely are detected, and they have a high degree of confidence in their ability to deceive.20

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Characteristics of Pathological Lying

Pathological lying is different from the occasional lies most people tell. It’s even different from patterns of dishonesty you might see in someone who’s trying to hide bad habits like infidelity or substance abuse

Researchers have found that pathological liars tell lies without good reason and without worrying about the consequences. They usually don’t plan to tell the lies. They also make up elaborate stories about themselves. It’s a lifelong behavior, and they can’t control the urge to lie.

Experts look for four main behaviors when trying to figure out if someone is a pathological liar:

Excessive lying .Pathological liars lie more than most people. They may make up stories that sound real enough that other people believe them. They then have to add more lies to back up the original lies. The lies they tell can also be outlandish and easily disproved. They might falsely claim to have received an award or say that still-living family members died.

Continue reading “Characteristics of Pathological Lying”

Compulsive liar or pathological liar?

People who lie compulsively often have no ulterior motive. They may even tell lies which damage their own reputations. Even after their falsehoods have been exposed, people who lie compulsively may have difficulty admitting the truth. Meanwhile, pathological lying often involves a clear motive.

Continue reading “Compulsive liar or pathological liar?”

Mother jailed for lying on birth certificate

HomeNewsMother jailed for lying on birth certificate

Mother jailed for lying on birth certificate

16 Apr 2021

News has recently emerged of a mother having been sentenced to eight months imprisonment for lying about the identity of her baby’s father on the birth certificate.

The mother is said to have lied about the father’s identity to spite the real father. Her partner, who was named as the baby’s father on the certificate was also jailed for six months for his part in the deception.

It is a legal requirement for the birth of a baby to be registered within six weeks of their birth, although due to the current coronavirus pandemic, special provisions have been put in place for this to be delayed for the time being.

In the case of married parents, either parent may register the baby’s birth. However, in the case of unmarried parents, this responsibility falls to the mother and only she automatically has parental responsibility. If both parents consent to the father being named on the birth certificate and he is present at the registration, the unmarried father will then also acquire parental responsibility.

Deliberately giving false details on a birth certificate is a criminal offence under the Perjury Act 1911 and is punishable by imprisonment. If however, a genuine mistake has been made, it is possible to seek an amendment to the register. In this particular case, if the mother had made a genuine mistake as to the identity of the natural father and it later transpired that her partner was not the baby’s father, she could apply to have his name removed from the certificate by providing evidence by way of an approved DNA test or court order. He would also then lose parental responsibility.

Diagnostic Checklist for Pathogenic Parenting

Professional Analysis:

A search was performed in both the general professional literature and then specifically in the Mental Measurements Yearbook (a professional guide and review of published assessment instruments) regarding the Impact of Parental Conflict Tool in order to review the instrument’s psychometric properties of:

  • The underlying theoretical foundations for the instrument’s development;
  • The operational definitions used in the instrument’s application;
  • The empirical studies demonstrating inter-rater reliability;
  • The empirical studies supporting the construct validity, content validity, concurrent validity, or predictive validity of the instrument.Based on this review of the professional literature, there appears to be no information in the professional literature which would support the psychometric properties of this assessment instrument.

What is pathological lying?

The article by Yang et al (2005) is provocative, thoughtful and intriguing and provided much food for thought. Participants were divided into three groups: liars, normal controls and antisocial controls. Half of those in the liars group were malingerers and the others displayed conning/manipulative behaviour on the Psychopathy Checklist – Revised (PCL-R), deceitfulness criteria for DSM-IV antisocial personality disorders or pathological lying as defined in the PCL-R. Yang et al referred to pathological liars specifically in the title of their paper but we are concerned that the definition of liars was so broad and wondered whether the article would not have been better entitled ‘Prefrontal white matter in liars’. The authors included individuals with different lying characteristics in a group of pathological liars and this is problematic.

Our recent review (Dike et al, 2005) showed that the term ‘pathological lying’ has been used differently in the literature from how it was used by Yang et al. Pathological lying is distinct from malingering or the other forms of lying exhibited by those included by Yang et al in the liars group. We defined pathological lying as ‘falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, and may manifest over a period of years or even a lifetime’. Pathological lying is a repetitive pattern of lying for which an external reason (such as financial gain) often appears absent, and the psychological basis is often unclear. This definition has not been accepted by the psychiatric community but summarises the elements of pathological lying. Interestingly, we found that pathological lying can also be found among successful individuals without a history of criminal behaviour.

We commend Yang et al for investigating the neurobiological basis of lying. Whether the prefrontal white matter changes indicate a causal relationship with lying or just an association is unknown. However, pathological lying per se was not specifically investigated, as suggested.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/what-is-pathological-lying/

Prefrontal white matter in pathological liars

Studies have shown increased bilateral activation in the prefrontal cortex when normal individuals lie, but there have been no structural imaging studies of deceitful individuals.Aims

To assess whether deceitful individuals show structural abnormalities in prefrontal grey and white matter volume.Method

Prefrontal grey and white matter volumes were assessed using structural magnetic resonance imaging in 12 individuals who pathologically lie, cheat and deceive (‘liars’), 16 antisocial controls and 21 normal controls.Results

Liars showed a 22–26% increase in prefrontal white matter and a 36–42% reduction in prefrontal grey/white ratios compared with both antisocial controls and normal controls.Conclusions

These findings provide the first evidence of a structural brain deficit in liars, they implicate the prefrontal cortex as an important (but not sole) component in the neural circuitry underlying lying and provide an initial neurobiological correlate of a deceitful personality.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/prefrontal-white-matter-in-pathological-liars/

Prefrontal white matter in pathological liars

Background

Studies have shown increased bilateral activation in the prefrontal cortex when normal individuals lie, but there have been no structural imaging studies of deceitful individuals.Aims

To assess whether deceitful individuals show structural abnormalities in prefrontal grey and white matter volume.Method

Prefrontal grey and white matter volumes were assessed using structural magnetic resonance imaging in 12 individuals who pathologically lie, cheat and deceive (‘liars’), 16 antisocial controls and 21 normal controls.Results

Liars showed a 22–26% increase in prefrontal white matter and a 36–42% reduction in prefrontal grey/white ratios compared with both antisocial controls and normal controls.Conclusions

These findings provide the first evidence of a structural brain deficit in liars, they implicate the prefrontal cortex as an important (but not sole) component in the neural circuitry underlying lying and provide an initial neurobiological correlate of a deceitful personality.

Yang, Y., Raine, A., Lencz, T., Bihrle, S., Lacasse, L., & Colletti, P. (2005). Prefrontal white matter in pathological liars. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187(4), 320-325. doi:10.1192/bjp.187.4.320

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry/article/prefrontal-white-matter-in-pathological-liars/35A3EB7AA604A278BBEBDE6C1CB20DB2

Mythomania (also known as pseudologia fantastica or pathological lying)

In psychologymythomania (also known as pseudologia fantastica or pathological lying) is a condition involving compulsive lying by a person with no obvious motivation. The affected person might believe their lies to be truth, and may have to create elaborate myths to reconcile them with other facts.

pathological liar is someone who often embellishes his or her stories in a way that he or she believes will impress people. It may be that a pathological liar is different from a normal liar in that a pathological liar believes the lie he or she is telling to be true—at least in public—and is “playing” the role. He or she sometimes is seen to have a serious mental problem that needs to be rectified.

It is not clear, however, that this is the case. It could also be that pathological liars know precisely what they are doing. Confused hashes of history and wishes are called confabulation. “Pathological liar” is a synonym for symptoms. No one has proposed a drug treatment for politicians accused of having this symptom.

Even though pathological lying is not recognized as a clinical disorder, legal court cases often require that you prove that the defendant is aware that he or she is lying. This proof is most important in cases of slander and/or liability. Pathological liars often actually convince themselves that they are telling the truth, which in turn can alter polygraph tests and other questioning.

When caught in a lie, pathological liars tend to become hostile or try to disregard the fact they lied; often playing it off as a joke.

https://psychology.wikia.org/wiki/Mythomania

Pathological liars: Everything you need to know

Factitious disorder

Factitious disorder — sometimes called Munchausen’s syndrome — is a condition in which a person acts as though they are physically or mentally ill when they are not.

Munchausen’s syndrome by proxy is when someone lies about another person having an illness. This condition is most common in mothers, who feign illness in their child and lie to a doctor about it.

The causes of factitious disorder are unknown. Theories include:

  • biological or genetic causes
  • childhood abuse or neglect
  • low self-esteem
  • the presence of a personality disorder
  • substance abuse
  • depression

Personality disorders

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325982