5 Types of Lie Detection Tests You Didn’t Know About

Between the daily talk shows the likes of Montel and Maury and the evening cop dramas like Blue Bloods and Law and Order, we have a cultural obsession with truth detection. Many times this truth detection comes down to the here-and-there results of a polygraph.

Lie detection isn’t something that exists only on television. Technology and techniques have been in development for over 150 years. While we still don’t have a literal ‘zone of truth’, we’ve got more options than you may realize.

Many reasons exist to be able to spot a lie. Truth is important in multi-million dollar deals, government, crime, and for home use when you want to nail that a friend doesn’t know how to use a word.

How many ways do we have to detect lies? Many. Specifically, here are five you probably didn’t realize were in use.

Cutting Edge Lie Detection

Generally, lie detecting comes down to establishing the difference between a base state, considered truthful, and an aberrant state, considered untruthful. Researchers establish these two different states using techniques spread across fields such as brain function, autonomic indicators, demeanor, and direct investigation.


The short version of functional magnetic resonance imaging takes pictures inside the brain of electrical activity and blood flow. 

The technology behind the polygraph works on this same idea of brain function indicators, but the FMRI shows a lot more information. 

Technicians ask a series of questions while a person is inside the imager. Depending on where they are retrieving the information, it will light up the brain. You use different parts of the brain to retrieve factual, stored information, from made up on the spot information.

FMRI lie detection even can determine to a relative degree what apart os a factual account a person is embellishing. 

2. Eye Tracking

This type of autonomic indicator looks for changes in optical function. The idea behind the technique relies on blood flow through the brain that shows through the size and steadiness of pupil dilation.

The technique is easy to teach and offers companies a low-cost way to run an in-house lie detection test for employees.

Outside of people that suffer from nystagmus, the technique is as reliable as a polygraph, statistically. 

3. Voice-Risk

Another in the autonomic family is the voice-risk analysis. Here, a carefully calibrated recorder, a voice stress analyzer, look for changes in voice. 

The frequency, pity, and microtremors within even a single word can determine a level of truthfulness. 

A baseline is established with known questions and then aberrations are looked for over the course of an exam.

4. Graphology

Voice-risk falls partially into demeanor testing as well. Fully in demeanor testing is graphology.

Handwriting samples are examined for aberrations in the stroke, stability, and pressure of letters. A person writing a lie will reveal differences in their handwriting in difference to when they are writing truths.

Graphology has some overlap with the psychology of handwriting making it doubly useful for determining intentions and states.

5. Investigations

The real lie detector among all these techniques and advances is the good old fashioned investigation.

Finding physical evidence and recorded evidence of a crime can and is used to prove lies all the time. We tend to forget about this one because it is so obvious, and not so much science fiction fun.

We Won’t Tell

Now you know some lie detection techniques and technology to share with friends. If you are interested in spreading information that you know, that most people don’t, contact us about writing an article you find interesting. 

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