Can You Spot Liars Through Their Body Language? A Former FBI Agent Breaks Down the Clues in Non-Verbal Communication | Open Culture

Can you spot a liar? We all know people who think they can, and very often they claim to be able to do so by reading "body language." Clearing one’s throat, touching one’s mouth, crossing one’s arms, looking away: these and other such gestures, they say, indicate on the part of the speaker a certain distance from the truth. In the WIRED "Tradecraft" video above, however former FBI special agent Joe Navarro more than once pronounces ideas about such physical lie indicators "nonsense." And having spent 25 years working to identify people presenting themselves falsely to the world — "my job was to catch spies," he says — he should know, at the very least, what isn’t a tell.

Dear Colleges: Take Control of Your Online Courses


  • Building on The Century Foundation’s earlier research, this report presents new data and analysis on the state of public–private partnerships in today’s online higher education landscape, along with what schools can do to protect themselves and their students from the predatory behavior that pervades it.
  • Universities contract with private, for-profit online program managers (OPMs) to develop, deliver, and recruit for their online degree programs. In some cases, the universities hand over 40 to 80 percent of the tuition revenue to the contracted company.
  • Some universities allow computer coding “bootcamps,” a popular form of online program, to operate under the brand name of the university even though they are completely run by an outside company—and on terms more typical of predatory for-profit schools.
  • Most university–OPM contracts tie colleges’ hands for a long period, preventing them from innovating their programs or responding to student needs or changes in the labor market.
  • Colleges can protect themselves and their students by contracting out selectively, and by retaining control over tuition price-setting and financial aid, recruiting and admission, program and institutional integrity, and ultimately, their brand.

Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview – The Conversation

Our ancestors evolved in small groups, where cooperation and persuasion had at least as much to do with reproductive success as holding accurate factual beliefs about the world. Assimilation into one’s tribe required assimilation into the group’s ideological belief system. An instinctive bias in favor of one’s “in-group” and its worldview is deeply ingrained in human psychology.

A human being’s very sense of self is intimately tied up with his or her identity group’s status and beliefs. Unsurprisingly, then, people respond automatically and defensively to information that threatens their ideological worldview. We respond with rationalization and selective assessment of evidence – that is, we engage in “confirmation bias,” giving credit to expert testimony we like and find reasons to reject the rest.