eye blinking may indicate deception. Eye blinking increases with cognitive over
load and the presence of the fight or flight response. Liars will experience an increase in
cognitive load, which can lead to stress and anxiety. Liars may experience the fight or flight
response. In order to precisely regulate
whether eye blink rate is a sign of deception, a baseline must be secured when
the person being interviewed has no reason to lie. Any fluctuation from the baseline may
Cognitive load is
the maximum supply of information the working memory can hold at one specific
time (Sweller, 1988). Liars tend to
experience cognitive overload. Liars
must remember what they said and what they did not say. Liars will experience a greater amount of
cognitive demands then people who are telling the truth (DePaulo et al. 2003,
Zuckerman et al. 1981). Liars will put
more effort into thinking, to ensure their story is believable (Baker, 2014). This takes time and concentration, which
causes less concentration on blinking.
Therefore, increased eye blinking may indicate deception.
Fight or Flight Response
The fight or flight response is
often experienced by someone who is lying.
Fight or flight is a reaction to a threat that causes a release of
hormones from the sympathetic nervous system (Cannon, 1920). The fight or flight response increases blood
flow, reduces saliva, and activates sweat glands (Layton, 2017). When a certain situation is perceived as threatening,
you can either “fight” or “flee” (Cannon, 1920). Lying
can be extremely stressful for people.
Liars have fear of being caught.
Research has shown that when we are troubled or nervous our eye blink
rate increases (Joe Navarro, 2009).
Increased eye blink rate is a result of stress and may be a sign of
Some researchers argue that when
a liar’s cognitive load increases, eye blinks will decrease (Bageley and
Manelis 1979; Bauer et al. 1987; Drew 1951; Goldstein et al. 1992; Holland and
Tarlow 1972, 1975; Wallbott and Scherer 1991).
While this is true, research has shown once the lie has been told, there
is a rift in cognitive demand which results in an increase in eye blinking
(Holland and Tarlow 1972). Therefore, an
increase in eye blinking may indicate deception.
Increased eye blinking tends to indicate
deception. Cognitive overload causes an
outbreak of stress and anxiety. Liars
tend to experience a larger amount of cognitive demands than people who are
telling the truth. Liars tend to experience
the fight or flight response. The fear
of being caught triggers the fight or flight response. Research shows that once the lie is told, an
increase in eye blinking may occur.
Therefore, increased eye blinking is a good indicator of deception.