Politicians cannot tell fibs…

…so says Peter Collett, reports BBC News (5 Sept). Collett made his claims at the British Academy Festival of Science this week:

A politician can never fib flawlessly because their body language will always give them away, psychologists say. No amount of coaching or media training can co-ordinate the hand gestures and facial expressions to fully cover up what a person knows not to be true.

UPDATE (12 Sept): Christian from Mind Hacks was there and adds:

[...] Collett’s talk was really just a collection of highlights from his channel 4 show, in which he identifies ‘tells’ that give away what a politician is really thinking. [...] This prompted a journalist next to me to ask – “wouldn’t it have been more logical to have compared how many discomfort gestures Brown made during Blair’s speech with how many he made during a speech by someone else?”.”Yes, you’re right” Collett admitted, “but you’re talking about an actual experiment, this is just something I put together for a TV programme”.

Hmm. Well at least he was honest about that – but wasn’t this supposed to be the BA Science Festival?

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