They walk among us, but they’re not necessarily who you’d expect. No, we’re not talking about a glass-walled houseful of attractive, brooding and extremely pale vampires; we’re talking about “naturals.” While the ability to detect deception is innate in all of us, it’s more “natural” for some than for others. But the term “natural,” is in itself — literally, by nature — deceiving: research shows that seemingly superhuman lie detection skills have as much to do with nurture as with nature. Read on to learn about three types of people, as identified by body language expert Janine Driver, who instinctively tap into their natural BS Barometers.
1. Secret Service Agents
Okay, this one isn’t exactly a surprise. While many lies are revealed by the unraveling of factors surrounding the lie, some are betrayed by only one thing: human intelligence. Remember the Terminator’s nifty “Scan Mode”? Secret Agents are kind of like that in non-robot form. They routinely scan crowds of thousands of people looking for the one face that poses a threat to national security.
When it comes to spotting lies, Secret Service agents routinely score better than all other occupational groups. This is largely attributed to their training: security agents are rigorously prepared to identify “tells” — a critical skill when it’s 1. your job and 2. a matter of life or death.
2. Survivors of Traumatic Childhoods
If you ever watched “Lie To Me,” you may remember Torres, the airport security agent-turned-deception expert identified by Cal Lightman as a “natural.” On the show, Torres’ s finely tuned BS Barometer is attributed to growing up with an abusive father. As it turns out, this wasn’t just character development or back story: it was THE story in the case of Torres’s lie detection skills.
The truth is that children who grow up in unstable homes are superior to their white picket fence counterparts when it comes to spotting deception. In fact, as many as 30 percent of “Truth Wizards” are the product of traumatic childhoods. While the source of instability may differ — from alcoholic parents to sexual, emotional or physical abuse — the end result is the same: the constant sense of vigilance necessitated by trauma during childhood can lead to a heightened ability to suss out truth from lies.
3. Aphasia Sufferers
Strokes come with all sorts of mostly debilitating consequences, but most people don’t know that strokes resulting in aphasia — the inability to produce speech — have an unexpected side effect: the enhanced ability to detect lies. Research from the University of California at San Francisco and Massachusetts General Hospital indicates that stroke victims with damage to the region of the brain linked with speech recognition demonstrate superior lie detection skills to their non-aphasic peers.
Just how superior? People with aphasia had nearly 75 percent success in identifying lies compared to just 50 percent in non-aphasics. Researchers suggest that this is because people without speech are more likely to focus on fine or fleeting variances in people’s facial expressions as opposed to getting caught up in the words themselves.
If you haven’t noticed yet, these three sub-sets of “naturals” have one glaring thing in common: they’re not so much born as made. This has significant implications for the rest of us in the form of living, breathing proof that mastering body language is the key to accessing our inner lie detectors and living in truth.
Until we visit again ...
Keep It Real and Always Live at Level 10,
- Mark Call
Truth Wizards Radio Podcast Host
'Certified' Body Language Trainer