The late Dr. Maureen O’Sullivan from the University of San Francisco, along with renowned expert in deception Dr. Paul Ekman, completed a scientific study called The Wizards Project, which identified 50 people with an exceptional ability to spot lies after testing more than 15,000 people over a 20 year span. They call these people “Truth Wizards” (wizard meaning ‘sage’, a person of amazing skill or accomplishment). These experts are not mystic or psychic. They rely on concrete clues to deception that when pointed out, most people can clearly see. The question is, why do most people miss the clues initially and only a select few see them? Science has yet to answer this question.
Renee, also known as “Eyes for Lies”, is one of the 50 people identified in the study. There is no centralized place to read about the research outside of a large collection of article citations, which can be provided upon request. Below are links to many articles on the internet that discuss the study.
Click on the tabs below to see a list of articles.
Articles that discuss Renee “Eyes for Lies”
- The Chicago Sun-Times: Truth Wizards know when you’ve been lying
- The Daily (iPad): The Moment of Truth: A ‘wizard’ tells how to spot lies and the lying liars who tell them
- Hanford Sentinel: “Truth wizard’ analyzes convicted Lemoore man’s latest interview
- The Chicago Sun-Times: (By Eyes for Lies) Who’s right: Jake or Vienna? Deception Detection | ‘Bachelor’ Couple has differences, but take a closer look.
- The Star Malaysia: The Ability To Detect Lies
- Click by LavaLife: Learn to Read Faces By columnist Lisa Daily
Articles on Truth Wizards (Wizards of Deception Detection by Demeanor)
- Maine Law Officer’s Bulletin: Truth Wizards Can Detect Lies
- BBC News: Select Few Can Identify Liars
- Scientific American Mind: A Look Tells All
- Los Angeles Times: Truth Wizards Can Tell When Someone’s Lying by Eyes for Lies:
- Smithsonian Magazine: Detecting Lies
(Link goes directly to page 4 for discussion about wizards)
- MSNBC.COM: Scientists Pick Out Human Lie Detectors
- Science News: Deception Detection: Psychologists Try To Learn How To Spot A Liar
- American Psychologist: Who Can Catch A Liar
- Science Daily: Lying Is Exposed By Microexpressions We Can’t Control
- The Independent (UK): How to read eyes for lies (mentions Eyes for Lies)
- The New York Times: 43 Facial Muscles That Reveal
- Psychotherapy Today: Can Therapists Spot Liars?
(no longer online)
- CBC Documentaries (Canada): The Truth About Liars
- EurekAlert: Lying and Deceit: The Wizards Project
- Ask a Scientist: Wizardary
- USF Professor’s Research Is Lies: USF Magazine, Spring 2009
- NPR: The Face Never Lies
- Institution of Engineering and Technology: Exposing the Big Lie
- Popular Mechanics: The (Real!) Science Behind “Lie to Me”
- The Washington Post
Don’t Believe the “Lie to Me” Hype: Even Trained Eyes Have A Hard Time Spotting Untruths;
Spotting A Lie Isn’t As Easy As It Looks
- Have We Been Lying To You?
- Psychology Today: Gut Almighty (p.3 talks about Wizards)
- American Psychological Association: Detecting Deception
- University of San Francisco: Psychology Professor Discovers Human Lie Detectors
Books that Mention “Truth Wizards”
- Applications of Nonverbal Communication, By Ronald E. Riggio, Robert Stephen Feldman,
Chapter 10: Emotional Intelligence and Deception Detection, Why Most People Can’t Read Others, But a Few Can, By Maureen O’Sullivan
- The Detection of Deception In Forensic Context (Cambridge University Press), The Wizards of Deception Detection, Chapter 12, Written by Maureen O’Sullivan and Paul Ekman, p. 369.