How do you know when you meet someone, that person is little fishy? Many people have asked me how do you spot a liar and I happened to have an answer for this. This is some actual study done by Julian Keenan of Montclair State University and the answer is rather simple.
“She says she’s just a happy-go-lucky girl who likes country music, a cold beer, and a guy in a cowboy hat. He says what he’d really like to do is settle down and have a family.”
What do you think the chances are that either’s telling the truth? How good are you at spotting deception in the opposite sex? No matter your current skill, Julian Keenan, director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging Lab at Montclair State University, can make you better.
He knows because his lab stuck a host of female undergrads in front of videos showing guys being honest, guys playing good, and guys playing bad, and then looked at the personality and demographic characteristics of girls who were good at sniffing out naughty rats.
First , Keenan found that people who are more self-aware are better at spotting deception in others. (Note: this does not necessarily mean that by becoming more self-aware, you would increase your lie-detect ion skills. Beware the jabberwocky of correlation and causation.)
But check this out: Keenan also found that single women are much better than women in committed relationships at detecting male deception. While this may be a news flash, it makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: If you’re in a long-term relationship, you no longer need to be as edgy around guys who could very well be talking a big game about love and family and commitment in hopes of winning a one-night stand. You’re not only out of practice but also lack the proper motivation, and have accordingly lost your edge.
So if you’re in a relationship and want to spot deception, ask a single, female(unbiased!) friend to help spot it for you. And if you’re single but generally oblivious, pick your most self-aware friend for a second opinion. Evolutionary need has put these all-knowing tigresses atop the deception-detection food chain—they can help you ferret out a rat as opposed to being the tempting rat to a hungry ferret (unless you’re into that sort of thing).
How to become self-aware, not delusional? Stay tuned for step-by-step exercises in becoming authentic self-aware. -SjC