studying deception for two and a half decades, scientists identified only 50
people who have a rare ability to spot lies after testing more than 15,000
people (including psychologists, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, arbitrators, judges,
attorneys, sheriffs, mixed law enforcement and the general population).
Scientists call these expert lie detectors "wizards of deception detection", or
"truth wizards". The name is misleading because there is nothing mystical
or magical about what they do. These experts in deception rely on concrete
clues to spot deception which have been studied by science. The mystery
lies in why only a small select group of people see what they see.
Scientists are using this group of people to further their understanding of
"A wizard...a sage...a person of amazing skill or
"A very small percentage of
(less than 1%, according to
Dr. Paul Ekman) are natural lie detectors
who can detect
microexpressions and lies without being trained. In reality, Ekman
does bring naturals--he likes to call them 'wizards of deception
him when he reviews tapes of investigation subjects."
Ekman says on
50 [people] who have this really nearly perfect ability to spot
liars, and that's
without any specialized training.
We're still trying to find out how in the world did they learn
Are they the sort of Mozarts of lie detection; they just had it?"
"No technology has come close
to delivering the accuracy of the wizards." (Institute of Engineering and
Scientists have been studying wizards to further
their understanding of deception detection:
"'We hope that
by studying our wizards, we'll learn more about the kinds of behaviors and ways
of thinking and talking that can betray a liar to an experienced interviewer,'
says Dr. Maureen O'Sullivan (source)."
them use the demeanor and vocal clues...but others base their judgments on
behaviors and word usage that no researcher has previously identified,
O'Sullivan explains (source)".
Lies is a real-life "natural" like the character "Ria Torres" portrayed on
the TV show Lie to Me. Ria Torres' character was actually based on
the 50 people identified in the University of San Francisco study that spanned
25 years of which Eyes for Lies (Renee) is one.