A new study suggests the cognitive approach increases accuracy when identifying lies and deception.


For various reasons, we all, at times, are prone to telling ‘little white lies. Sometimes, however, lies are anything but innocent and intended to be intentionally deceptive to gain an advantage or deflect blame. Signs of deception can include both verbal and non-verbal cues such as nervousness and providing inconsistent details. Being able to detect lies and deception is an invaluable skill that researchers have been investigating. In his article ‘How to Detect lies’, Arash Emamzadeh discusses a new study into lie detection using a cognitive approach that involves cognitive load. The research suggests the cognitive process increases accuracy when identifying deception and consists in using the following three techniques:

  1. Imposing cognitive load
  2. Encouraging the person to say more
  3. Unanticipated questions.