Body Language: The Eye Contact Myth

It might be safe to say that almost everyone has heard someone saying “She’s lying; she barely made eye contact…couldn’t look me in the eye. I know she’s lying!”

 Like most myths, this one is perpetuated by the underlying “It just makes sense” belief. Interestingly, the truth regarding eye contact is quite often at the other end of the spectrum.

People, who are untrained in the skill of deception, will actually make MORE eye contact when they are lying, in many cases. Why? It probably comes right back to the myth that says “If people don’t make eye contact, they are lying”. Therefore, the liar will make a focused effort to make plenty of eye contact, and, in doing so, often over-compensates.

Remember, getting a baseline is critical. I know plenty of folks who make very little eye contact when they are telling the truth, and I know people who make more eye contact than the average person when they are telling the truth. In the end, it’s the deviation from the baseline that offers the most useful information.

© Copyright 2010-Vincent Harris-All Rights Reserved.

 http://www.VinceHarris.com

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