woman using the laptap
There’s been a rise in phishing cases and online money scams. (Photo: Pexels)

Tell-tale Sign #1
Pregnant Pauses It takes 10 per cent longer to type a lie than the truth, according to a Brigham Young University study. Researchers observed that people who lie in texts, on Facebook, or over instant messaging take that much longer to compose their messages, make a lot more edits, and write shorter responses than usual.

Tell-tale Sign #2
Indirect Statements Rather than a direct reply, a person who’s lying may resort to giving indirect statements that imply an answer; for example, “Would I do such a thing?” or “I wouldn’t do such a thing,” rather than “I didn’t do it”. A sentence with a contraction is also more likely to be truthful: “I don’t have a girlfriend” instead of “I do not have a girlfriend”.

Tell-tale Sign #3
Negation Liars tend to use words with negative emotions and have the habit of flipping their language around. For instance, they’ll likely say “not good” instead of “bad” or “not happy” instead of “sad”.

Tell-tale Sign #4
Distancing Language Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Cornell University found that online liars are less likely to use the first-person pronoun “I” in their deceptive statements. The use of pronouns also changes: “My” becomes “the” like “I knocked the mug off the table” becomes “The mug fell off the table”.

Text: Candy Lim, The Singapore Women’s Weekly, January 2014 / Additional Reporting: Sylvia Ong

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