The eyes have it (or do they?)

September 6, 2012

If you read the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) literature it often points towards the ‘fact’ that certain sorts of eye movement are associated with lying. For example, that looking up to the right suggests a lie, whereas looking up to the left is associated with telling the truth. Surprisingly little research has been conducted to test whether this is the case… Well, now it has, and the conclusion is that eye movements are not related to lying.  Which makes sense, especially if you know anything about neuroscience. It’s also in line with other research that suggests that facial cues, in general, are poor indicators of lying. Yep, it really is just an itchy nose or a ticklish ear.

More info:

Fantasy factoids

May 18, 2010

A factoid is something that looks like a fact but which is usually invented. It often gains credibility from being in print. Indeed some claim that when a factoid has been in the quality press five times it actually becomes a ‘fact’! Sounds a bit far fetched to me, and the five-times business is probably a factoid in itself. Here is a typical list…

Time and motion experts have established that over the average life span of 74.5 years we spend:

  • 7 years in the bathroom
  • 5 years waiting in queues
  • 1 year searching for ‘lost’ objects
  • 8 months opening junk mail
  • 5 months talking to call-centres

This list was widely quoted but I have made one of the facts up, can you guess which? Also there is something decidely fishy about the times quoted for most of these activities. Try converting them to the amount of time spent each day.

Photo credit: Suat Eman/


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