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Decoding Language of Lying

According to TED-Ed, we hear anywhere between 10 and 200 lies per day. Although scientists have spent centuries in coming up with methods to detect lying by tracking physiological changes in their tellers, these methods have proved unreliable.

Is there a more direct approach? Noah Zandan, founder and Chief Executive Officer of ‘Quantified Impressions’ uses some famous examples of lying in the following animated video to illustrate how we might use communications science to analyze the lies themselves.

But how does Islamic Shari’ah see lying?

Islam forbids lying and considers it a major sin. There of course some exceptions cited by scholars in which the rue might be relaxed a bit, one of which is concealment or omission of one’s religion, due to fear of persecution should one reveal their belief in Islam, known as ‘taqiya’.

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Many Prophetic hadiths and Qur’anic verses have revealed this prohibition of lying in Islam. Abdullah narrated a hadith that Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) said: “Truth leads one to Paradise and virtue leads one to Paradise and the person tells the truth until he is recorded as truthful, and lie leads to obscenity and obscenity leads to Hell, and the person tells a lie until he is recorded as a liar.” Sahih Muslim – Book 32 Hadith 6307.

Another prophetic hadith narrated by Sufyan ibn Asid al-Hadrami says: I heard the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) say: “It is great treachery that you should tell your brother something and have him believe you when you are lying.” Sunan of Abu-Dawood – Book 41 Hadith 4953.

Allah’s Apostle has also said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; and whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays (proves to be dishonest).” Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 73 Hadith 117.

In another hadith, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)” Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 31 Hadith 127.

Allah in Qur’an despises lying: “No vanity shall they hear therein (in Heaven), nor lying.” (Surat An-Naba’ 78:35). And in Surat Al-Qamar, verse number 26, Allah says: “Ah! they will know on the morrow, which is the liar, the insolent one!”

Decode Lying

Zandan’s ‘Quantified Impressions’ is a communications-analytics company, provides an analytics and personalized performance feedback platform that enables its clients to evaluate and assess their personal, professional, and organizational communications and leadership abilities.

Its platform helps executives, spokespeople, professionals, public officials, and enterprises around the world to increase the effectiveness of their written, verbal, and visual communications. The company started in 2011 in Austin, Texas.

TED is a media organization which posts talks online for free distribution, under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TED began in February 1984 as a conference, which took place annually since 1990.

TED’s early emphasis was technology and design, consistent with its Silicon Valley origins, but it has since broadened its focus to include talks on many scientific, cultural, and academic topics.

The main TED conference occurs annually in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at the Vancouver Convention Centre. TED events takes place in North America, Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks.

They address a wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture, often through storytelling.

TED’s current curator is the British former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson. By November 2012, TED Talks made over one billion watches worldwide.

By Ryan Morris, NGM Staff; Shelley Sperry.

Source: Timothy R. Levine and others, Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 2016; Evelyne Debey and others, ACTA Psychologica, 2015; Kim Serota, Oakland University.

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