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Body language experts provide real-time feedback when people on screen are lying

Image credit: CBS News

Darko Savic
Darko Savic Dec 02, 2021
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A panel of body language experts provides real-time opinions on whether people are telling the truth during political debates. Whenever someone is lying, they press a button, and an indicator appears in the corner of the screen. The more indicators, the higher the probability the person is lying.
  • Help people spot deception.
How it works
A panel of several body language experts provides real-time feedback/opinions on whether people on the screen are lying.
When an expert thinks someone isn't telling the truth, they press a button. A small red indicator appears in the corner of the screen. Because there are multiple experts, there would be multiple indicators. The more that light up, the higher the probability that the person on screen is lying.
The on-screen indicator could be a minimized version of this:

When the speech/debate is over, release a video version that includes expert commentary about each time they thought the speaker lied.
Versatile truthfulness plugin
The panel of body language experts could be plugged into any broadcasted live event where people are addressing the masses.
Creative contributions

Live Fact Checks against disinformation.

Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia Dec 03, 2021
Hi Darko Savic , I think the idea has some merit but unfortunately it is not that easy to analyze body language in real time to be able to faithfully determine whether someone is lying. The "teltalle indicators" that are commonly mentioned are rejected by most serious experts. First of all, body language is different for every person and thus the reading needs to be adapted to the normal mannerisms and expressivity of each individual. Secondly, the more scientifically-sound signs of deception, such as disconnection of body parts movement, disconnection of speech and body epmhasis and others, are normally difficult to detect in real time and are almost always seen when being able to re-watch and stop a video. Additionally, most high-level politicians have absolutely no remorse or conscience when lying to get their own objectives, and they practice a lot how to deliver their lines and get training on how to regulate their body language. This makes it very difficult to detect deception.
However, I think that the video you linked gave another interesting possibility: live fact checks. The video talks about Trump's logical fallacies, which were abundant and obvious in his speeches but a lot of people fell for. Having a pannel of objective experts who signal the objective logical fallacies in people's arguments could do a lot of good. However, this kind of fact checks could never be about ideology or opinions, and would have to be limited to false information and logical fallacies. This would maintain the impartiality of the experts and give them credibility. Otherwise the politicized public would only see them as one more player in the political battle, and ignore their opinion. How could we make sure that this panel does not get politicized and impartial?
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jnikola3 years ago
When we speak about fact-checking... I recently read an Instagram story of a friend which had a note at the bottom saying that this story was revised by a third party. I went to check it on the Instagram page and found this: "...In addition, it will be labeled so people can better decide for themselves what to read, trust, and share.". Apparently, they started to revise the information and label it as false or partly false by a third-party fact-checker. If the fact is false, they reduce its distribution by removing it from Explore and hashtag pages and reducing its visibility in Feed and Stories.
Something like this could be developed by the experts and used in live shows and political talks.


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Povilas S
Povilas S3 years ago
I completely agree with this. I was also just doing some research about how reliable body language is in detecting lies and found similar conclusions.
This article summarizes well all the whys and hows about the topic. Just like you indicate, it also suggests that placing emphasis on what is said not how it is said is the key, in other words, one should rather try to find flaws and contradictions in the information that is provided by the person rather than checking his expressions and body language and making conclusions based on that, because if you pay attention to the latter, you miss a great deal of the former and the former is way more reliable.
Having in mind the solution that you suggest in the last paragraph, another idea by Darko Savic could come in handy here.
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Manel Lladó Santaeularia
Manel Lladó Santaeularia3 years ago
Povilas S An interesting and well-documented example on the effect of good, controlled body language in perception is the Presidential Debate between Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960. This was the first ever TV-broadcasted Presidental Debate. Since not everyone in the United States had a TV, a lot of people followed the debate through the radio instead. Radio listeners who were polled after the debate strongly favored Nixon as the winner, since his speech and reasoning had sounded significantly more convincing. Fascinatingly, TV viewers overwhelmingly favored Kennedy, who appeared way more confident, young and calm than the notoriously sweaty and agitated Nixon. The difference was so huge that it was a subject of study at the time, and a lot of politicians started working on their body language and image a lot more since then, leading to why we cannot trust their body language when they speak in public, especially in debates.
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