Have you ever confronted someone about something they did, and you knew they were lying to you as they replied and made lame excuses? It’s a frustrating experience knowing they’re blatantly deceiving you, but there’s no way to call them out for their deception without any proof.
With these individuals, it’s easy to spot their lies. It’s almost idiotic to think they can get away with the deception, and eventually, they get caught out in the lie. Then there are those liars that are on another level of the game. They lie so well that they hardly set off your internal BS radar. You find yourself torn between believing them and thinking they’re deceiving you.
These liars are so good at telling fibs that they convince almost everyone around them that they’re telling the truth. With you, it’s a different story. They sound convincing, but something in your instincts tells you they’re lying to you. Maybe they’re lying or telling the truth, but there’s no way to discern which.
Trust the Polygraph
Polygraph gives you the answer you need. While some claim the polygraph is ineffective or produces incorrect results, anyone who undergoes a polygraph exam knows the power of this technology.
The modern computerized polygraph is far apart from the tech of the 1980s. During the early 80s, “experts” determined that the polygraph wasn’t as accurate as previously thought. As a result, federal laws like “The Employee Polygraph Protection Act” came into play by the decade’s end.
Some four decades later, polygraph technology is vastly different. The introduction of computerized systems featuring AI, machine learning, and complex algorithms refined this science and its accuracy. However, this archaic legislation remains in place, limiting its use in the private sector.
Placing someone under polygraph examination yields remarkably accurate results. It’s a fantastic tool for indicating deception. Despite polygraph results being inadmissible in court, they provide information that further corroborates other evidence in cases of lying.
While a liar might get away with deceiving you, they’ll have a much harder time doing it under a polygraph examination with a qualified, experienced polygraph examiner conducting the process. This post examines what incentivizes people to lie and how the polygraph can help uncover their deception.
Why Do People Lie?
People lie for many reasons and causes. Regardless of the cause of their deception, the result is the same. They deal with guilt, and the lies spiral out of control until the truth emerges. The talent of the liar and their pathological intention make some difficult to spot, while others are easier to call out for their lying behavior.
Let’s unpack the motivation behind why people lie.
To Protect Themselves or Others
People lie to protect themselves, their interests, or that of others. For instance, a person might have a vested interest in a project with no future. They might continually lie about its performance and results to convince others that it’s a viable project worth their consideration.
A good example would be former crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried. SBF would tell the world via social media that his trading platform, FTX, was fine and had no risk of collapse. Just a few days later, the platform filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.
He would go on to claim he didn’t intentionally mean for FTX to lose customer funds. It was all a big mistake, and bad management on his part, with no fraud involved in the collapse. A few weeks later, internet sleuths proved a staggering amount of fraud involved, and SBF was indicted on federal charges.
People may also lie to protect others. For instance, Sam claimed he was solely responsible for the fraud in an attempt to conceal the involvement of his former girlfriend and head of the FTX sister trading firm “Alameda Research,” Caroline Ellison. Ironically, Ellison and SBF’s former founding partner of FTX, Gary Wang, would end up agreeing to testify against SBF to avoid federal prosecution.
For Financial Gain or Clout
People will lie for financial gain. For instance, former finance guru, Bernie Madoff, spent years lying to his clients, convincing them that he was an investing genius. In reality, Bernie was running the world’s biggest Ponzi scheme at the time (now only second to the SBF and the FTX debacle).
Bernie would periodically lie to his clients, going as far as to make redemption requests, only to lie to more investors to draw money into his fund. Eventually, a client discovered Bernie’s fraud, and Madoff was arrested just a few days later. At the time of his arrest, Madoff admitted he was glad he was finally caught as the guilt ravaged his conscience.
Bernie not only lied for financial gain, stealing billions of dollars from clients, but also for clout. His appearance in the media as a financial genius fueled his ego, driving him deeper and deeper into his lie with every investor brought into his scheme.
To Avoid Punishment
People will lie to avoid punishment. Going back to the example of FTX, Alameda Research, and Sam Bankman-Fried, SBF intentionally lied to avoid being arrested. In the weeks following his indictment, internet sleuth, Coffeezilla, would repeatedly question SBF about his fraudulent behavior in Twitter Q&A sessions.
Whenever he would bring up the subject of SBF using customer funds to fuel Alameda’s trading losses, ABF would divert the conversation to the terms and conditions of FTX, specifying they used the funds to cover margin lending positions. Even investigative journalists from the New York Times failed to coax a confession out of Sam.
However, Coffeezilla eventually trapped SBF in his lie, using the FTX terms and conditions and SBFs lending behavior as grounds for proving fraud. A week later, authorities walked SBF out of his $40 million luxury apartment in the Bahamas in handcuffs.
To Fit in with Social Groups
As social creatures, humans need to appear authoritative in their social groups. They’ll lie about their involvement in activities and their knowledge to gain clout from others. For instance, Brian Johnson, aka “The Liver King,” lied about using steroids, despite his god-like body being obviously unattainable without PED use.
Brian repeatedly lied about his drug use on camera. He appeared on the world’s biggest podcast platforms, promoting his ancestral lifestyle as the cause for his massive muscle gains and strength. Despite being called out by many other influencers as an obvious steroid user, Johnson maintained his natural lifestyle.
However, just over 18 months after blowing up on the internet and gaining millions of followers from his deceptive practices, the liver King was proven a fraud. Derek, from the YouTube channel “More Plates, More Dates,” released a series of emails from Johnson discussing his drug use.
What are the Types of Lies?
There are different types of lies. Some lies are harmless, and we never give them a second thought. Others are severe, producing feelings of guilt so intense they keep us up at night. Let’s look at the two types of lies and how they affect the human conscience.
Innocent White Lies
These lies are common. Most of us tell them all the time with no ill intention. For instance, you might “bluff” in a poker game to gain an advantage over other players during the game. Or you might tell your partner they look great in that dress, despite thinking they look terrible and should change into something else.
Innocent white lies don’t have many repercussions if discovered. In the poker game, your friends laugh at you getting one over on them as you reveal your hand. If your partner accidentally hears you saying you think her dress is terrible when discussing it with a friend, she’ll be hurt, but it won’t end your relationship.
We don’t think about the repercussions of these lies because they don’t matter in the grand scheme of our lives. They don’t produce feelings of guilt in our minds because there’s no real deceptive intention behind them that could harm others.
Severe Lies with Real Consequences
Then there are severe lies. These fibs cause real-world consequences that damage people’s lives. For instance, Sam Bankman-Fried cost millions of people worldwide their financial livelihood. While we could say that his clients should have been more prudent in their investing strategy, the reality is it was SBFs fraud and lies that cost them their financial well-being.
Severe lies produce feelings of guilt in the average person. For instance, despite Bernie Madoff being a liar, he would admit that his guilty conscience racked him day and night for years. When eventually caught, he would admit it was a relief, removing the guilt he felt at scamming his clients for years.
When we tell severe lies, it causes interference with our conscience and morals. As a result, we start feeling symptoms of guilt that interfere with our sleep. We can even manifest physical symptoms like GI tract distress due to the guilt they feel at carrying a lie around and perpetuating it.
What Is Pathological Lying?
Most people will eventually admit to the truth regarding severe lies. The weight on our conscience eventually becomes too much to bear, and we reveal the truth. However, some pathological liars, such as Sam Bankman-Fried, don’t have this same neural wiring. They don’t experience feelings of guilt.
Pathological liars can lie right to your face without blinking or giving away any body language or microexpressions revealing their deception. These individuals believe their own lies. They see them as the truth, and they don’t experience any remorse or guilt.
For instance, in an interview with a reporter in the wake of the FTX collapse, SBF admitted he was sleeping fine, despite knowingly losing millions of his client’s life savings.
Can a Polygraph Detect Lying?
A polygraph can help businesses, organizations, and law enforcement uncover a liar. A polygraph monitors changes in blood pressure, pulse, respiration, sweat gland activity, and movement during questioning. It’s a technology that evolved over nearly 150 years.
What started as a means of using changes in pulse rate using your fingers now uses complex computer equipment and algorithms to detect deception. A polygraph works by detecting these physiological changes, activated by the “fight-or-flight” response in the “Sympathetic Nervous System” (SNS).
When we’re in the polygraph exam room, the SNS activates the “fight-or-flight” response when hearing a question where we have to lie to conceal the truth. If we lie to the question, the fight-or-flight response increases blood pressure, pulse rate, respiration, and sweat gland activity.
The polygraph examiner notices these changes through the instrumentation attached to the examinee, delivering signals to software on their laptop. Some people claim the polygraph is only accurate 60% to 70% of the time. However, they base this understanding on studies from the early 1980s.
Polygraph technology has been much more advanced since this initial study and its results. The introduction of computerized technology into polygraph systems dramatically improved their accuracy. Polygraph experts believe the system accurately detects deceptive behavior in 98% of polygraph exams.
Using a polygraph is the best method to confirm suspicions of deception. The liar may deceive your instincts, but they can’t escape the reaction of the SNS and the fight-or-flight response in a polygraph exam. Polygraphs allow you to confirm your suspicions, providing you with an additional layer of evidence to prove deception in others.
When Is It Illegal to Use a Polygraph to Uncover a Liar?
While the polygraph is incredibly effective at uncovering deception, it’s not legal for use in all circumstances. Legislation like The Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988 prevents employers from using polygraph exams in the workplace for employees or pre-employment screening.
However, there are certain circumstances where employers may use polygraph exams on their staff or in pre-employment screenings. Polygraphs are legal to use in private instances of suspected deception, such as spousal infidelity. However, no one may force someone else to undertake a polygraph. The person in question must willingly agree to undergo the process.
Many assume they can beat the polygraph because they’re heard about the data assuming polygraph results are inaccurate in most cases. However, it’s a very different scenario when they walk into the exam room and undergo the test. They soon find out there’s no escaping the fight-or-flight response or the examiner’s watchful eye and their polygraph.
This article was originally published at liedetectortest.com. All rights reserved and used with permission.
Originally posted 2023-09-15 11:36:30.