Eye movement direction not correlated with lying, study claims

July 11, 2012

New research refutes a commonly held belief that certain eye movements are associated with lying.

The idea that looking to the right indicates lying, while looking left suggests truth telling, is shown to be false in a report published July 11 in the journal .

The researchers, led by Caroline Watt of the University of Edinburgh, completed three different studies to show that there was no correlation between the direction of eye movement and whether the subject was telling the truth or lying.

"A large percentage of the public believes that certain are a sign of lying, and this idea is even taught in organisational training courses." Watt notes. "Our research provides no support for the idea and so suggests that it is time to abandon this approach to detecting deceit"

Explore further: Researchers find magnetic brain stimulation appears to make lying more difficult

More information: Wiseman R, Watt C, ten Brinke L, Porter S, Couper S-L, et al. (2012) The Eyes Don't Have It: Lie Detection and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. PLoS ONE 7(7): e40259. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040259

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Serious research into what makes us laugh

November 24, 2015

More complex jokes tend to be funnier but only up to a point, Oxford researchers have found. Jokes that are too complicated tend to lose the audience.

Psychologists dispute continuum theory of sexual orientation

November 19, 2015

Washington State University researchers have established a categorical distinction between people who are heterosexual and those who are not. By analyzing the reported sexual behavior, identity and attraction of more than ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.