Eye movement direction not correlated with lying, study claims

July 11, 2012, Public Library of Science
eye

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

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