March 23, 2010

It May Be Harder Than You Think To Hide Your Lying Eyes

A new study just came out, and it was both interesting and really obvious at the same time.

Right handed participants eye movements were measured as they were told to randomly pick new numbers. When the new number was higher, even before they stated the number, they looked to the right. When it was a lower number, they looked to the left.

I'm not sure if right handedness is a key here, because we naturally associate higher numbers from left to right, unless you are reading Hebrew. It would be interesting to see how left handers react and both those who read and think in Hebrew right handers and left handers react.

The article does mention poker. I wonder if that means that when a high number shows up, a person responds naturally by looking to the right, or if it only happens if the poker players hand is bettered by the card.

Maybe this is the key to what makes a good poker player. They don't move their eyes, and they pick up on other player's eye movement, even subconsciously (sometimes a gut feeling is based on real evidence, whether the player knows it or not).

As for lying about your age. I wonder if this right left movement has more to do with what is deemed better. For example, if you are 49 and say you are 39, I think you would tend to look to the right and up, but if you state you are 59, you may look to the left and down.

I was always told that looking up to the right (for a right handed person) means one is imagining (or lying), while looking up to the left has more to do with remembering or thinking.

Looking down is being submissive and could have to do with guilt. I'll never forget that image of Susan Smith doing a press conference and looking down (and even closing her eyes looking down) when lying about her kids being kidnapped and hoping they would just come back (even when she knew they were in a sunken car). Here is the video of her lying eyes (unfortunately the audio is disabled):

Fortunately, the audio isn't disabled below: