We love to get good reader suggestions, and this one is top-notch. Background: Columbia University released an interesting study around January 2010 saying that people in power lie much more easily than “the average”, and are less likely to get caught in the lie. Since then there have been stories floating about how to spot liars and our friend sent us the most recent on NPR. It’s very valuable because it links to another study, this time by Stanford professors, who “think they’ve come up with a way to tell when senior executives are fibbing” after “studying thousands of corporate earnings calls“. More links inside.
Keep those suggestions coming!
Since lies and liars are a common concern since Mankind’s first conscious day on Earth, there’s a wealth of articles and papers on “spotting liars”. Some of the links below, therefore, precede the Columbia study, but we still tried to keep the focus on the corporate world.
– The Columbia study in full: “People with power are better liars” (PDF, 20 pages).
– “Is your CEO lying? Watch out for use of the 3rd person”: Huffington Post, August 2010, already mentions the Stanford study.
– “How to sniff out a liar”: Forbes, May 2009. Focuses more on subtle hints/ body language. This is a rich vein, but one we won’t explore here.