Reading Lies: Nonverbal Communication and Deception

Posted: 18 Jan 2019

See all articles by Par Anders Granhag

Par Anders Granhag

Göteborg University

Maria Hartwig

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Pär Anders Granhag

Göteborg University - Department of Psychology

Date Written: January 2019

Abstract

The relationship between nonverbal communication and deception continues to attract much interest, but there are many misconceptions about it. In this review, we present a scientific view on this relationship. We describe theories explaining why liars would behave differently from truth tellers, followed by research on how liars actually behave and individuals’ ability to detect lies. We show that the nonverbal cues to deceit discovered to date are faint and unreliable and that people are mediocre lie catchers when they pay attention to behavior. We also discuss why individuals hold misbeliefs about the relationship between nonverbal behavior and deception—beliefs that appear very hard to debunk. We further discuss the ways in which researchers could improve the state of affairs by examining nonverbal behaviors in different ways and in different settings than they currently do.

Suggested Citation

Granhag, Par Anders and Hartwig, Maria and Granhag, Pär Anders, Reading Lies: Nonverbal Communication and Deception (January 2019). Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 70, pp. 295-317, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3318207 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010418-103135

Par Anders Granhag (Contact Author)

Göteborg University ( email )

Gothenburg
Sweden

Maria Hartwig

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
United States

Pär Anders Granhag

Göteborg University - Department of Psychology

P.O. Box 500
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

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