If I could have a super power, it would be the ability to read minds—yes, over flying, being invisible, and even shooting fire. Just think of how amazing it would be if you could hear what your boss was thinking about before she said it out loud, or maybe even understand why that co-worker of yours just doesn’t like you.
But anyways, like all superpower fantasies, this is pretty unlikely to happen in reality. However, there is a way to read people’s lies, which is almost as cool—and just as useful.
Many studies discuss how you can spot a liar based on body language, but a study on linguistic text analysis also suggests that these people use certain patterns of verbal language. Four distinct patterns, in fact. Even cooler, scientists found that these are all subconscious—so the person in question may not know that he or she is making these language choices.
So even though you won’t know exactly what people are thinking, you will be able to see when someone’s not being fully honest with you. And while they are probably harmless lies, you’ll become more in tune to how people speak to you—and become a better communicator yourself.
Check out this video by TED-Ed to learn about these four lie-spotting techniques.
As Editor for The Muse, Alyse is proud to prove that yes, English majors can change the world. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Inc., Motto, CNBC's Make It, USA Today College, Lifehacker, Mashable, and more. She calls many places home, including Illinois where she grew up and the small town of Hamilton where she attended Colgate University, but she was born to be a New Yorker. In addition to being an avid writer, Alyse loves to dance, both professionally and while waiting for the subway.More from this Author