Cognitive Effort To the average person it is normally difficult to fabricate a lie especially when there is no time for preparation. During such situations, the speech content of liars could give away the lie (Churyk et al. , 2009; Reynolds & Rendle-Short, 2010; Vrij 2008). Characteristic of the deception would be a lack of specific details in the fabricated account. As such, there would be an increased use of generalising terms, shorter statements and reduced self references. Moreover, an interviewer may be able to identify these traits by noting the presence of repeated clusters of information, a deviation from the original baseline of the account.
Additionally the deceptive account is likely to include an increased number of pauses between answers, speech stumbles and filler words like “uh huh, ” um m” (Gamson et al. 2012). Because of their inability to fabricate convincing lies, such liars would sound implausible. Lying has another cognitive demand of being able to remember what was said so as to replicate information given before when asked for the same. Memory failure among liars leads to contradiction or inconsistency where different details would be repeated over time (Buckhoff & Hansen 2002; Gamson et al. , 2012; Hartwig et al. , 2011; Villar et al. , 2013).
Gamson et al. (2012) support this postulate by noting that maintenance of a lie is more cognitively demanding than telling the truth. The resultant mental strain on the mind may cause a liar to exhibit increased pauses between answers and speech stumbles. Furthermore, during an interview, a lot cognitive effort would go into suppressing the truth inwardly and monitoring outward movement (Ekman, 2009). The use of more cognitive resources by liar as opposed to truth tellers makes them vulnerable to detection. Attempted Control Liars actively seek to avoid producing self-incriminating statements.
As a result, they face a dilemma. The safest strategy for such persons would encompass being silent because keeping silent prevents giving away lies through speech. However, Vrij (2008) argues that liars fear remaining silent as this could arouse suspicion. Similarly it may not be socially appropriate for the liar to remain silent, such as in the case of an insurance claim interview process where the outcome is dependent on information being presented by the claimant.
As such, the best alternative would be to provide statements from which the listener or interviewer would be presented with the minimal possible lie-catching opportunities.