Monday, October 17, 2011


How To Be More Paranoid

Pamela Meyer tells you how to spot liars. Don't you think "Duping Delight" should be called "Creepy Person Face?"

32 Comments / Post A Comment


Oh my God, her hair is amazing.


(and her findings are fascinating).


I agree, super fascinating. But also, the part about the correct way to react to your child's murder makes me nervous...I'm always scared I'm reacting to things the wrong way.

Has anyone read that book, The Gift of Fear? Yikes!


@melis yes! I am completely digging her personal style, too! Also, her talk is incredible and really gives me something to think about and another thing to be nervous about - I think I overanalyse myself thinking that people might think I'm lying and trying to overcompensate looking 'honest'


It's been that I watched this being like "Stuff to avoid doing while lying!"




@LeafySeaDragon Augh, I inexplicably love that?! I find that sound weirdly relaxing. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? A la http://anti-valentine.hubpages.com/hub/ASMR ?

fondue with cheddar

@LeafySeaDragon I KNOW, it's grossing me out!


This is probably the longest youtube video I've ever watched, and, yet, I was sad when it was over. I can't wait to use this on people at work.

"Can you tell me, in reverse order, how your trip to the post office went? Because I didn't know they used Anthropologie bags at the post office..."


do people watch Lie To Me? I have to say, the first 5-10 episodes you watch are great for this stuff. then it gets super repetitive.


@bb i love lie to me, it's a well made show. tim roth is great in it. it does get a little repetitive, but remember it's a network tv show and they have to hand hold those viewers a little.

the first few eps were weird for me, they helped rationalize who i don't like alot of people. my gut is always telling me things with no rational back up. after watching the show, perhaps i'm reacting to micro-expressions and subtle body language?


@LeafySeaDragon agree with the rationalizing of disliking people. I loved that show (past tense, it was cancelled) because, a) Tim Roth is the Baddest, and b) i love, LOVE the science behind it, and also secretly think i can read microexpressions. Something that bolstered my confidence in my lie-detecting abilities was this study: http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/smiles/ It has you identify the real or fake smiles, and then tells you how good you are at that task at the end. Fun for paranoid misanthropes!


@candybeans who is awesome!? me<- i got 18 out of 20 correct

i'm so sad it got cancelled! i only watch streaming netflix and dvd's, i don't keep up on current tv. boo!

Atheist Watermelon

@bb I am totally in love with Tim Roth, so I loved that show... It was formulaic and repetitive, but he was worth watching every moment he was onscreen (he is such!! an amazing actor!!!)... So sad it was cancelled!!!


@candybeans If I'm going to go to the effort of faking a smile and pretending to care about my coworkers, it seems like the least they could do is not call me on it.

Sara P

@bb http://mindhacks.com/2011/10/07/entertainingly-mislead-me/

I found this kind of hilarious. :)


@bb So, if I keep going with Lie to Me, roughly how many "women lie about rape" plots should I expect per season? Or just in general plotlines lifted from Veronica Mars?


This video has taught me that either I have Asperger's, or I'm such a good liar that I fool myself.


@Xora I suspect that's actually more common than we think. We choose to believe things that are true-ish because they make things easier, and then we tell them to others and kind of sort of believe them so it's not REALLY lying, right?


@palliata Good point.


By following these simple helpers you can guarantee the only people you ever really trust are either people 100% committed to a consistent dogma as a way of life and honestly believe in a ruleset that holds in whatever case they are presented with, and people that are so well studied at pretending to show conviction they can lie to your face without anxiety or any tells showing up.

Hope you enjoy your friends consisting basically of the devoutly religious, autist spectrum, or sociopathic.


@Joshie How did you get that out of her speech?


@Joshie What's is wrong with your friends being on the autistic spectrum?


@stephanieboland Yeah. People with autism are very often cool as hell.


Here's where I diverge from her. Her science is solid, but her philosophy leaves something to be desired. Her implication seems to be that lying is inherently bad, that the world would be a better place if we all told the truth, and I really don't see that as true. Privacy, keeping our secrets, is incredibly important, and simply refusing to answer overly personal questions will not get you there. People will know there's something worth hiding, they will put together the clues you can't hide, and they'll figure it out. Human beings have an incorrigible desire to ferret out hidden things, and many have an almost preternatural ability to do it. If you lie, and get away with it, they think there's nothing worth investigating and they piss off. If you simply refuse to answer, they know there's something there and they eventually figure it out.

I won't go as far as to say that you don't want to know when people are lying or flattering you, though having studied lying for some time and becoming rather good at discerning the difference I can see an argument being made for it, but I will say that I've tested it both ways - telling people the complete, unadulterated truth and telling them white lies when appropriate - and the truth will make you lots and lots of shocked and depressed enemies.

There is only one relationship in my life I don't routinely inject with falsehood, and that's the relationship with my gf. Apart from that, no one deserves the truth, and they will get what portion of it I deem proper.


@palliata On an unrelated note, has anyone else noticed that people seem to decide whether something is true or false not based on any tell or sign but rather whether it fits into the proper narrative structure as they perceive it? I find that I get accused of lying a lot when I'm telling the truth and vice versa if the lie I tell fits with traditional narrative structure or the truth is even moderately out of sync.

For instance, if I tell someone that I'm a HS dropout who got a 2140 on the SATs they usually show signs that they think I'm lying, or outright accuse me, even though that's 100% true. On the other hand, if I tell them that I grew up in a household with servants, they almost never do, even though that's a complete lie. The former doesn't make sense with their perception of me as a character, while the latter does, and that seems to be how people decide which is which.


I bet you're a riot at dinner parties (maintains intense eye contact, uses conversational qualifiers, displays Duping Delight).

Mary McKenna@facebook

Yeah, I think it's typical of Ted Talks to take some experiment in behavioural science and apply it too broadly in order to make it entertaining for the audience. It's irresponsible to lump together statistics like "people lie to one another five times in the first blahblha seconds of meeting..." with video footage of someone gleefully lying about murdering their own children. But by treating them all under the heading of (morally reprehensible) "lying" they tell a story that speaks directly to the average viewer...like my lying about having enjoyed someone's art show is basically the same behaviour as running a ponzi scheme.
(@melis sorry - I'm totally no fun at dinner parties either)


@Mary McKenna@facebook As long as you insist upon telling near-strangers your high school test scores and then accuse them of disbelieving you in a bizarre, aggressive fashion, we're good.


@palliata Was just an example bud. Believe it or not that is actually something that comes up sometimes in college as opposed to something I share with strangers on the subway, and of course it goes without saying I never accuse them of anything in bizzarely aggressive fashion. You might consider being less of a fuckhead in the future, since you clearly value social skills so highly.


Anyone else think her mannerisms resemble Maya Rudolph? (Obviously I took a lot from this speech.)

Vera Knoop

Did anyone else read the first line of this post as a Shel Silverstein poem?

Post a Comment

You must be logged-in to post a comment.

Login To Your Account