Deceptionis a very difficult thing to accomplish and involves purposefully trying tocover up a lie being told to another person. It is hard to go against ournatural instincts, for example when someone says not to smile, all you want todo is smile.
Being able to suppress our natural instincts is what allows peopleto lie, however, this is not the sole thing to pull off a lie. In addition, youmust play the person you are lying to. An average person will perceive you acertain way and look to your face to see if in their gut they think you arebeing honest. Experts on the other hand know what to look for and in criminalcases will use lie detecting technology that involves monitoring your pulse,breathing, and GSI (conductivity of your skin, sweat). The only way toeffectively lie and not get caught is to manipulate the person you are lying toby using their theory of mind against them.The Theory of MindThe theory of mind involves “people’s ideas about their ownand other’s mental states – about their feelings, perceptions, and thoughts,and the behaviors these might predict” (Myers, 191).
It is between the ages ofthree and four, the preoperational stage, that children develop a theory ofmind that allows them to eventually realize that others hold false beliefs aswell as different beliefs and this can be seen through Piaget’s Theory ofConservation. When a child is shown two balls of Playdoh that are the same, thechild recognizes that they have the same amount of Playdoh. However, if one isflattened out the child believes that the ball of Playdoh has more Playdoh eventhough the only thing that changed was the shape of one ball.
Eventually thechild will grasp that it is merely a change of shape rather than an addition ofmore Playdoh. Being able to differentiate and draw conclusions are importantabilities that we gain in this stage of development and will continue to usethroughout our life.As an adult, the theory of mind is used constantly. We maynot recognize it, but we, as adults, are constantly presented with thedifferences between our personal mental state and another person’s mental state.
We draw conclusions about their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors and makeassumptions of what they might be indicative of based on what we know inourselves to be true and what we know from other experiences. We must also use thetheory of conservation to recognize that two things can be the same even if theydo not appear to be the same on the outside.FacialExpressions and Behavior to Convey Feelings Whenlooking at another person we use what we can see to draw our conclusions.
Wecannot read their mind, so instead we look at their facial expressions. Whensomeone is happy we know that they will smile and when they are sad they will frown.When a smile is genuine, certain facial muscles are involved that makes it simplerto tell whether or not a smile is truly genuine, especially when it issomething we have seen in ourselves and others time and time again. Often timesit is not that simple; it takes situational context in addition to a facialexpression to determine what we believe the person is thinking or feeling andto determine what their mental state is. Itis argued that when we observe “a particular emotion in another person itprovides relatively differentiated information about how that person regardsthe situation” (de Melo, 73). The idea behind this is that emotional displayscome from the appraisal of events with respect to the persons goals, desires,and beliefs. Every person can react differently given the same situation. Therefore,the situation is an important aspect and we must try to understand thesituation and the person’s facial expression in order to gauge their mental state.
The person does the opposite of that using the event and their mental states todetermine their emotional display, although some of this may happensubconsciously (de Melo, 74).Using Theory of Mind to DeceiveWhen attempting to deceive someone who is using facialexpressions, behavior, and the situation to figure out the person’s mentalstate, behavioral and emotional countermeasures must be used by the liar inorder to make the person being deceived believe they are being told the truth. Fourof the top clues that someone is lying “involve the face in some capacity – eyemovements, as reflected in gaze aversion, nervousness, facial expressions, andfacial color” (Hurley, 120). To employ countermeasures, one would try tocontrol their face and eyes. If someone can learn the techniques that will beused to detect the lie by the person they are trying to deceive, they can usethat person’s theory of mind against them.
By putting on different emotional displays, the deceiver canmask their true emotional state from the person trying to detect the lie.Playing with the persons theory of mind means that one must manipulate theperson so that their beliefs are used against them. If someone who is guiltycannot maintain eye contact, then maintaining eye contact would make the personbelieve they are being told the truth.
Forcing the person to make the wrong inferencesis how someone deceives another person, so ultimately you must know thedeceived.This however proved difficult to do because people don’t simplytake in one specific feature, but instead they are looking at every facial feature.Many people are mostly successful in controlling one facial feature such astheir eyes, but not the other aspects that give away a liar (Hurley, 128). Thisidea calls into question whether or not we should firmly cement ourselves inour own theory of mind. If we do firmly cement ourselves, we are more easilydeceived and taken advantage of.