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Skillful Liars Are Difficult to Detect

Nobody likes to be lied to. It is generally agreed that lying is a sin or is not socially acceptable and potentially harmful. Some people believe they are smart enough to spot a liar and have no worries about being duped. Current research on the subject plainly shows that they are not giving credit to man’s master ability to distort and deceive.

Researchers list a surprising 102 possible nonverbal cues that are alleged to expose a liar. The most prominent ones are: “averted gaze, blinking, talking louder … shrugging, shifting posture and movements of the head, hands, arms or legs.”

Numerous studies have found people to be overconfident in their perception and judgment. A study at Texas Christian University revealed that no student volunteers were only able to pick true from false statements better than 54 percent of the time—just slightly above chance.

Even experts who are trained in this area are failing. Studies found police officers no better than 50/50 in recognizing true and false statements told during recorded outbursts by emotional family members who later were found to have committed horrific crimes.

Psychologist Ronald Fisher, who trains FBI agents, warns that good liars are good liars. “Liars do feel more nervous, but that’s an internal feeling as opposed to how they behave as observed by others.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

The devil is a liar and a murderer and the father of all liars. He began his career lying to Eve and has continued to use this deception ever since. His “children” (John 8:44) follow his example when they teach deceptive doctrine and worldly philosophy that deceive so many (Col. 2:8).


Jessica Seigel, “The Truth About Lying,” Knowable Magazine (3-25-21)

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