Emotionally Intelligent People Are Less Good at Spotting Liars

Those better at perceiving emotion are more gullible?
 I like to think I'm good a perceiving and expressing emotion. Does that make me an easy patsy?

...used a standard questionnaire to measure the EI...

These participants were then asked to view 20 videos from around the world of people pleading for the safe return of a missing family member. In half the videos the person making the plea was responsible for the missing person's disappearance or murder.

The participants were asked to judge whether the pleas were honest or deceptive, say how much confidence they had in their judgements, report the cues they had used to make those judgements and rate their emotional response to each plea.

...people with a higher ability to perceive and express emotion (a component of EI) were not so good at spotting when people were telling lies.

Professor Porter says: "Taken together, these findings suggest that features of emotional intelligence, and the decision-making processes they lead to, may have the paradoxical effect of impairing people's ability to detect deceit.

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Replies to This Discussion

I know I'm not good at spotting liars, but for me that leads to the conclusion that my EI is probably not so high.

The article said there was a paradoxical effect, that those who aren't good at spotting liars DO have high EI.

I have trained myself to spot liars, I wasn't always this good at it. I am highly intuitive but not sure about Emotional Intuitive. It takes a lot of studying people to see the liars.

How did you train yourself?

I trained myself to look at body language that tells a lot, also I found liars fit a pattern and that once you understand the different patterns and types of them it comes much easier to spot them a mile away.


I learned all this the hard way as I had been taken by them a lot before that.

It would be great to be able to spot liars. Some are easier to spot than others.

Just think of all the grief I could have been saved by spotting them ahead of time.

That's counter intuitive. What trait makes someone a good lie detector? Reading body language and micro-expressions must be key to telling a lier. I used to work with a guy who lied. I could tell he was lying because it happened every time he said something.

I agree, it's counter intuitive. I can't explain their result. Yes, reading body language is critical to detecting lies as far as I know. Perhaps there's another effect at work, such as being more susceptible to implicit appeals to emotion.

Hmmmm...  I tend to be suspicious of overly emotional pleas for help, but then I have learned from experience to remain neutral until a person proves themself trustworthy...to me.

One of my favorite phrases/insults from way back is "Drama Queen!" no matter what gender the "actor" happens to be.




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