Why is the truth so sought after

SZ.de: Even toddlers say: "It wasn't me!" Is the lie in our nature?

Jack Nasher: It is important for personality development. By lying, a child realizes that it is an individual, that there is a world into which not even the parents can see. At first it lies in order to avoid punishment - for example when someone asks: "Did you break that?" At around two and a half years of age, children understand how to gain an advantage by lying. For example, by deliberately pointing in the wrong direction when another child asks about a toy that they don't want to give away.

There were also sensational lies in politics, such as Clinton's statement on the Lewinsky affair. Would you have seen the lie?

It can't be seen right away, not while Clinton is talking. But after that. It's like a bad actor who limps during the scene and then suddenly walks off the stage completely normally. It can be clearly seen in the video: At the end of the statement, his face collapses. At that moment he shows a typical emotion, namely grief - an indication of feelings of guilt.

Feelings of guilt can be recognized by the expression on your face?

Yes, because guilt looks like grief: The corners of the mouth are turned downwards, the gaze is now empty.

How can I still tell if someone is lying?

Apart from guilt: fear. Both emotions emerge for no apparent reason. It is relatively easy for you to see fear in a person's face: the eyes are wide open, the corners of the mouth pulled back - as if a bus had hit the face. In addition, the voice gets higher. You don't even have to remember this in detail - we instinctively recognize whether another person is feeling fear or not.

How do I react when I have the feeling that the other person is lying to me. Immediately confront it?

In general, you shouldn't let it be seen right away if you have the feeling that you have been lied to. But first try to find out the truth in conversation. If enough lies are fulfilled: Confrontation yes - insinuations such as "You're lying!" one must avoid however. "You said" is definitely better than "You lied". Instead of reproachfully asking "Who stole this?" prefer to ask openly, for example "Who took that?"

Is it wise to intimidate someone?

Only when nothing else helps. Unless you are sure, you shouldn't even show that you suspect someone.

How do you get the other person to reveal the truth?

Through a bluff - for example, by pretending to have relevant information or options. It's not just children who are more likely to admit something when they think their parents already know. This method is also suitable for a job interview. If I want to know, for example, whether the applicant has been kicked out of his company, I indicate that I will soon have a dinner with his former HR manager. It also works the other way around - in such conversations you are often flirted with about the opportunities for advancement or bonuses in a company. In that case, the applicant can give the impression that he is in contact with other employees. The method also works very well when there is suspicion of theft: During the survey, it is claimed that the matter will soon be cleared up anyway because there is a hidden camera that is still being evaluated.

Can't it backfire to gamble with faked facts?

Of course, if you don't have anything, it can be embarrassing, but if you only vaguely suggest something, you can always put it into perspective later. It is more elegant, however, with the reflex question. This method makes you nervous. Because it contains a hidden accusation that only the person addressed recognizes as such.