Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Human Lie Detector

A dead giveaway

Tuesday May 12, 2009

I REFER to the article, Friendly Persuasion (StarTwo, April 29) and the opinion of Dr Coral Dando of Lancaster Univer­sity’s Department of Psychol­ogy. When asked if body language plays a role in determining if a person is lying, Dando said no. Even though British officers are taught a lot about body language, she said there is no such thing as a dead giveaway.
Her reply that body language does not play a role in determining if a person is lying and that there is no dead giveaway reveals that she does not know the subject of body language intimately.
Almost 3,000 years ago when a difficult problem of parental identity was presented to King Solomon, it was the inward emotions (body language) of the real mother who stopped the cutting of her baby into two – a dead giveaway – that made King Solomon’s judicial decision go down in history.
In his book, People Watching, Dr Desmond Morris says this about lying: “Even in the most self-aware faces, tiny micro-expressions leak the truth. These micro-expressions are caused by the face’s all-too-rapid efficiency in registering inner feelings. When a mood-change seeks expression, it can expect to be registered by the alteration in the set of facial muscles in much less than a second. The counter-message from the brain tells the face to “shut up”, which often fails to catch up with the primary mood-change message.
“The result is that a facial expression begins and then, a split second later, is cancelled by the counter-message. What happens on the face during the split-second delay is a tiny, fleeting hint of an expression. It is suppressed so quickly that most people never see it, but if watched for carefully during lying sessions, it can be detected and is then one of the best (dead giveaways) of deception clues.”
However, for the untrained observer, after special training, using slow-motion films, one can spot them in normal-speed films of interviews. So to a trained expert, even the face cannot lie. Therefore there are dead giveaways in body language that help in making a decision when no other evidence is available, and help narrow down the number of suspects in a persuasive interrogation.
Thus body language plays a very important role in determining when a person is lying and there are dead giveaways that can reveal to investigators a lie. For that reason, one should practise a holistic approach or the whole person concept in investigations.
Jackson Yogarajah 
Strategic Excellence Training
Kuala Lumpur

Reading body language

Jackson Yogarajah : ‘You cannot read a liar like a
mystery novel and there is
no definite way of detecting deception.’

Wednesday April 29, 2009

BODY language expert Jackson Yogarajah believes one can determine if a person is telling the truth by observing and interpreting her or his actions. However, he cautions that “you cannot read a liar like a mystery novel and there is no definite way of detecting deception.”
“But in body language, we know the rules and interpretation, and the psychology of a deceptive person,” said Jackson, who has trained personnel in the Royal Malaysian Police Force as well as other government agencies. He has also trained Customs officers in Indonesia.
He said in body language, a particular action does not have a defined meaning, unlike words. In looking for signs of deception, an investigator needs to look at a cluster of actions rather than base his conclusion on just one action.
“You have to see three or more actions in a pattern,” he said. “Even so, we don’t have a body language expert who can catch a liar 100% of the time. It’s already very good if it’s 80% of the time.”
The cluster or patterns of behaviour are then taken within their context, with an eye on the congruence of actions, whether the behaviours match the words. These are compared with what is known as a person’s baseline behaviour, that is, their natural behaviour in a comfortable environment.
“You talk to him about his family, his school, his work, and develop a comfortable rapport, and you will get to know him and his personality,” said Jackson. “Then you come to the deceptive side of him when you question him. That’s where your questioning techniques come into play, the type of questions you pose, and you see his reaction to them. And you base it on three or four of his actions, not just one. And only then can you reach a decision. But then again, it doesn’t mean you can see that he’s telling the truth for sure, because people can prepare themselves and deceive. There are so many things involved.”
He said neuroscientists have given us a clearer picture of what the unspoken signs and signals mean, that is, how the brain processes non-verbal cues. He feels it is important to teach investigators and interrogators to understand what it means to be human.
“Body language is a part of sociology, psychology, anthropology, psychiatry and human relations,” said Jackson. “So a good understanding of body language helps investigators to avoid, in certain cases, a judgmental attitude.”
Jackson believes in keeping the suspect or interviewee as comfortable as possible, so that his baseline behaviour can be determined.
“And then you can formulate your questions, use them and see the changes in his behaviour. You can compare that with his earlier behaviour. It can help you in making a decision when no other evidence is available,” he said.
“It is not about scaring a suspect or pressuring him,” he added. “It is about making a suspect comfortable, so that the signs would show, and the investigator can make the best possible conclusion.” – By Allan Koay

Body Language Preconceptions

In those days when I was conducting non-verbal communication seminars, sales organization often overwhelm me with their replies. ”I don’t think you can get anything out of a body language seminar; the salespeople won’t be interested in a boring subject.”

This preconception about body language wasn’t an isolated case then. People in positions were just ignorant. They were not aware that it was a subject taught in universities as a big part of communication. Even today in this 21st century we need to debunk and explain these biases about these body language seminars to these aliens to arouse interest in them.

But wait a moment, because, the first international conference on non-verbal communication was only held in the 20th century recently (1967) in Oxford, organized by Britain’s famed authors and doctors of social psychology, Dr Michael Argyle and Dr Ralp Exlline. It was long after the 19th century (1872) publication by Charles Darwin on the first scientific study of nonverbal communication, “The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals.” So how could we be so well-read.

Today, institutes and centers for Non verbal studies have prospered both in Britain and in the United States of America. Writings and research on findings and communication techniques have filled books more so since the “Decade of the Brain” (1990 – 2000) discoveries in neuroscience where we have been provided a clearer picture of what the unspoken signs and signals mean. Because we now know how the brain processes nonverbal cues it has contributed much to self-improvement, interrogations, salesmanship, and therapies for normal and abnormal people and for those used by encounter groups.

The first is body language is not important; oral language will do. On the contrary, there are clear and important similarities between verbal and non-verbal language.

Both are modes of communication. You use words when you have to be precise, detailed, or want to talk through problems, plans, solutions, and you use them to influence another person but not without the use of non-verbals, that is, appearance, posture, gesture, gaze, proximity, vocal qualities, facial expressions and smells.

Most of us are not aware that non-verbal and verbal communication has different functions. We don’t express emotions through words alone; we use our face and body too.

When establishing and maintaining friendships and other relationships we can’t do without non-verbal communication signals, such as proximity, tone of voice, touch, gaze and facial expressions.

In creating impressions on others through our physical behavior, we are deliberately or involuntarily sending a non-verbal message across and that’s important for both senders and receivers.

2. The second preconception is that body language differs across the world, so it is not important to learn it. To an extent, gestures vary in meaning in other parts of the world, but that only makes the study even more fascinating and relevant.

Desmond Morris, who traveled to more than 60 countries while making field studies of human behavior, says that certain familiar gestures do disappear and other strange ones take their place, but there are gestures that do not differ at all.

In fact, he says, they are universal and make you feel at home even when you are on the other side of the globe.

A smile is a smile the world over; a frown is a frown; a stare is a stare. Arms folding shows defensiveness; arms placed on the hips reveal that I feel anti-social-these are common gestures all over the world.

3. The third preconception is that body language is manipulative; you can put on a show just to get your way and therefore it is undesirable.

That’s only seeing the other side of the coin. All scientific discoveries can be used for good or bad and body language skills are no exception.

Skills in body language techniques and its importance in social behavior do not make being genuine and sincere less pleasing.

Individuals must exercise some restraint in their interpersonal feelings, such as aggression, if their organization or group is to function harmoniously.

It has been said that the most effective and desirable behavior is that of controlling the inner expressions of one’s feelings, which is one of the social training skills in body language.

Therefore, we should not assume that the skilled body language exponent will spend his time playing tricks on other people and controlling situations to his advantage.

4. The fourth preconception is that body language awareness and skills make people self-conscious and awkward in their interaction with others.

To answer that any trainer will tell you that when a person learns a new skill, such as handling a car or bicycle for the first time, he goes through stages when the behavior is awkward and requires full attention. Once these stages are over and competence is acquired, he doesn’t need to reflect on the training while he is driving or cycling. The skill to do that is habitual. The same is true with body language skills.

5. The fifth preconception about body language is that a single gesture means a single thing. Crossed arms, for example, may mean a closed mind, but it can also mean anxiety, anger or feeling cold. You can’t interpret one gesture without considering the whole context.

RULES FOR INTERPRETINGIn body language there are four main rules for interpreting. The first rule is cluster, where you have to look out for three or more gestures in order to interpret correctly.

The second rule is context, where we must take gestures into account based with the situation and the identity of the person using those. A person seated with arms and legs tightly crossed in a cold room, for example, may not mean a closed mind, but feeling cold.

The third is congruence where your gestures should match your verbal communication.

The forth rule is culture. Certain gestures vary in meaning with different cultures. For example stroking the beard in Israel means, “I am deep in thought”.” In Austria the same gesture means “How boring”. In Ghana if you show your thumb with the other fingers cupped like the way some Malaysians show direction it would mean you are showing a vulgar sign to get lost.

BODY LANGUAGE SKILLS FOR PROFESSIONALSBody language skills training can benefit and be applied to most professions, especially those who interact with others during work. Let us look at two careers and how its application can benefit others.

School teachers who lack body language skills won’t be good at teaching. Studies of American and European children who got the most out of formal learning showed that it was the consistent non-verbal skills of the teacher which made them effective and which created the environment for effective learning.

Firstly, good teachers who like others and are likeable smile and engage in eye contact with their students. They will try to stand close, bend to compensate for height difference and would nod approval of what students say or do.

Secondly, good teachers are confident and remain in control by standing tall, being relaxed and will laugh to encourage genuine laughter in others without making fun of others.

They will always look out for their students’ body language signs that need attention and will act immediately.

Thirdly, good teachers create interest in the subject by varying their facial expression and gestures when speaking; they lean forward and show genuine excitement to explain the topic effectively.

On the other hand, bad teachers shows dislike and are disliked when they hide behind the barrier of the desk; exhibit negative movements, tense gestures and closed postures. They don’t touch students, have poor eye contact and seldom smile.

Secondly, bad teachers who are not confident and often lose control are nervous, have tense voices that stammer and don’t notice body language signals that need attention.

Thirdly, bad teachers manufacture boredom in their students through their subject by monotonous voices, by moving about just a little in class, by getting bored themselves and showing unconscious signs of anger.

SALESPEOPLESalespeople who quit the selling profession often are unaware that their main problem is failing to understand the body language of their prospects and their own.

Their ability to interact with prospective customers through an understanding of behaviors, feelings and reaction to situations can help them sell well and keep them in their profession.

In body language skills training for salespeople, I often conduct role-playing, where a selling skill away from the real situation is first discussed then demonstrated.

I usually provide a written account of the background of the people and the situation and get my trainees to role-play.

For example, a prospective customer allows for interruption or answers the telephone. What does this behavior suggest and what should you do?

In role playing, I seek out the best selling techniques for dealing with that particular situation and then allow a feedback which may come from the other members of the group, which is done without disturbing those, involved.

Sales trainees who transfer what they have learnt in my training sessions to the real world of selling often grow in confidence not only in understanding their prospect’s behaviors better but in reacting with effective behavior of their own.

If you are one who has preconceptions about body language, then you have failed to know that we all communicate more with out bodies than with our words.

Albert Mehrabian researched the total impact of a message in communication and found that seven per cent is words while 38 per cent is the tone of voice, inflection and other sounds (vocal) and 55 per cent was non-verbal. Similar estimates were later confirmed by other researchers.

Strangely, we emphasize the verbal aspects of communication and have ignored the more than 90 per cent of the non-verbal aspects of communication.

We rely on words and then wonder why we sometimes miscommunicate, misunderstand, and fail to learn from it. We only know too well, that the biggest problem in all relationships is communication and yet end up doing the wrong thing. We should base the ideas we have about body language on sufficient information and experience.

He Knows When You’re Lying

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2012 - 14:32   Malay Mail

“I WAS lying to you.”

Jackson Yogarajah (pic) tilts his head, but doesn’t show surprise or any changes in his facial expression. He seemed distant, uninterested.

“I was lying to you,” this reporter repeats again.

“I know,” came the curt reply. The reporter had just spent some 10 minutes narrating a fictional story of how he had given the police a miss while he was abusing drugs some four years ago. Jackson, however, does not buy the story from the word go. “You were not expressive when you told me. You missed out details. If that’s the truth, you wouldn’t miss out on details.”
The 61-year-old Jackson lives in a small home-cum-office in Cheras, Kuala Lumpur and does something that very few people do in Malaysia — he’s a body language expert and trainer.
The Kuala Lipis-born Jackson probably is best-known as the author of 55 Reasons Why Sharifah Aini Wasn’t Lying, a 2005 book in which Jackson used 55 body language cues to explain why the veteran singer wasn’t lying when she said she was attacked by two thugs opposite TV3’s headquarters in October the previous year.
The police had failed to find corroborative evidence that Sharifah was attacked and she was accused of fabricating the incident.

“I had to come out and defend her, because I saw that she was not lying. Many people thought she paid me to come up with a book.
But I always tell people, all she gave me was a cup of tea when I visited her at her home,” Jackson told The Malay Mail.He had based his conclusion that she was not lying after watching several of her TV interviews in which she had spoken about the incident.
Months after the book was released, which sold more than 3,000 copies, Jackson received a call from the US, from researchers interested in his book. He sent his book, which was written by extensively quoting and referring to the works of eminent psychologist Paul Ekman, via mail to the US.
Three years later, a new TV series called Lie to Me is produced by 20th Century Fox, which tells the story of Dr Cal Lightman, a body language teacher and trainer (portrayed by Tim Roth).
Ekman was the consultant for the series which ran from 2009 to 2011.
“Many people told me that it might not be a coincidence that the series was conceived after my work was sent there,” Jackson said.
He currently conducts courses for salesmen, agencies, university professors, and even policemen.
“I consider training policemen to be the biggest highlight of my career. I trained Special Branch officers under their invitation so it was no mean feat. They recognise my work,” he said.
He started conducting such courses in 1996 but it took six years before he could do it full-time and embracing it as a profession publicly does have its ups and downs.
“When I tell people what I do, they assume that I am a mind reader. They get uncomfortable.
But people are like books. You don’t read a book you are not interested in. If you are interested, then you flip the pages and try to read,” he said.
“But there are benefits too. I was at an airline ticketing agency once and when I asked the agent if there are other places where I can get the tickets for a cheaper price, she said no, but I knew she was lying.

I looked into her eyes. I went to the next agency and got a cheaper ticket.”  ….Bernama