If you have been reading my stories for some time, you would by now know that one of my passions is understanding human behavior, human nature, human life.
What does it mean, to be human? Why do we love, why do we cheat, why do we lie? Why do we do the things we do?
I have recently become very interested in the TV series Lie to Me. In the show, Dr. Cal Lightman (Tim Roth) and his colleagues in The Lightman Group accept assignments and assist in investigations, searching for the truth through applied psychology: interpreting microexpressions, through the Facial Action Coding System, and body language.
The show based most of its science on the research of Paul Ekman who studied facial expressions and body movements and their relations to human emotions. Ekman showed that facial expressions are not culturally determined but universal, and thus biological in origin.
Some of the universal expressions he identified include anger, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise.
If you want to test your ability to spot lies, the BBC website offers an online exam designed to test your skill in spotting between a fake smile and a real one. The test is based on the research of Ekman.
Click here to take the test.
Sometimes, though, I wonder if lies and deception are necessary. Do we really need the truth all the time? Perhaps there are cases when a lie is kinder than the truth.