How to See a Lie: A Jury Consultant Tells All

Posted on September 15, 2008
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A little bit of distrust goes a long way. My investigation into lies that men and women tell is turning into a cottage industry.

It all started out when a male friend of mine began telling me stories about a new woman in his life.  He asked my opinion since it was a long distance stretch.  The more I heard, the more suspicious I became.  The woman who had an ingenious knack for shading the truth — to the point of telling outright lies.  

Now frequently men who confide in me and ask my opinion become sulky and tell me that I am negative when I tell them the truth.  They really want me to say, “It’s all right to lie.”  Instead  I say, “No, no, no. Lies are not good.” Then they say that I am tough on their women.  Not true.  I am only tough on women who give women a bad name. 

However, my dear young friend from Paris set me straight — “a resounding mais oui to women who lie.”  Read: From Paris with Love and Lies on this blog.

So I guess I am trying to become more accepting of “white lies” and less tolerant of women (and men) who tell big lies – about having a sexually transmitted disease or are in trouble with the law as poor Anne Hathaway discovered.  

What I find to be so sad is that there are so many good people out there who come by relationships honestly that being duped by someone who lies is just unnecessary.   Nonetheless there must be something going around. The more I write about lies, the more readers write me and ask for more. 

So here goes, this one is a new book from a jury consultant  Jo-Ellan Dimitrius.  She has worked on over 600 trials – from OJ Simpson to the Enron scandal.  Her latest book is called:  “Reading People: How to Understand People and Predict Their Behavior — Anytime, Anyplace.”  It is a book about truth and lies.  Reading People

Additionally The Situation of Lying article posted by The Situationsit Staff in April excerpts a piece by Melaine Linder of Forbes citing research from a Brandeis University psychologist who points out that “the right pressures or incentives will cause anybody to lie.”   What are your thoughts?  The Situationist

The Situationist is associated with The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School.

Copyright 2008 Rita Watson

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