How to Be A Human Lie Detector

Know when someone is lying to you. You will learn how to spot deception and uncover hidden emotions.
117 reviews
  • Vanessa Van Edwards Author and Behavioral Investigator

    Vanessa Van Edwards is the lead investigator at the Science of People, a human behavior research lab. She is a Huffington Post columnist and published author. Her innovative work has been featured on NPR, Business Week and USA Today. She regularly gives keynotes and appears in the media to talk about her research. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes.

    Vanessa is also a sought-after corporate consultant and has used her research with a number of Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Clean and Clear and Symantec. Vanessa has spoken to groups across the globe from the stage at the Consumer Electronic Show to presenting research at MIT. Her groundbreaking workshops and courses teach individuals how to succeed in business and life by understanding the hidden dynamics of people.

    She is a science geek, recovering awkward person and textbook ENTJ.

    For more cool stuff, check out the Science of People.

  • Lifetime access to 37 lectures and 6 quizzes
  • 3+ hours of high quality content
  • A community of 9100+ students learning together!
  • 140+ discussions

How to Be A Human Lie Detector

Know when someone is lying to you. You will learn how to spot deception and uncover hidden emotions.
117 reviews


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In a ten minute conversation you are likely to be lied to two to three times. You might not even realize how often the people in your life are being deceitful.

91% of people lie regularly at home and at work

It’s time you get the tools to better equip yourself. How to Be A Human Lie Detector will teach you how to spot lies as well as uncover hidden emotions in the people you are interacting with.

Most importantly, it will help you have more honest interactions with the people in your life.

What If It Doesn't Come Naturally?

You do not have to be born with a natural inclination to read people. In fact, all people reading skills and lie detection abilities can be self-taught. Studies show that with beginner level training the average person can increase their accuracy at spotting deception from 54% to 90% accuracy.

This course is based on scientifically backed research on the how to read people’s nonverbal behavior and spot lies. If you have seen the TV show "Lie to Me" we actually will be teaching you many of the actual techniques the show is based on, which comes from Dr. Paul Ekman's research on lie detection.

Lying Myths:

Because this course is based in research backed science, it will debunk some popular myths about lying.

  • Lying Myth #1: If people look to the left, they are lying. If they look to the right they are telling the truth. Although there is some science about eye direction, which we talk about in the course. It is not the most reliable form of lie detection. The course will show you more accurate (and easier) ways to spot lies.
  • Lying Myth #2: Liars can’t look you in the eyes. On average, honest people will make eye contact during conversations about 60% of the time–way less than you thought, right? Liars actually look you in the eye more because they want to see if you believe their lie or not.
  • Lying Myth #3: Emails and IM’s are filled with lies because it is easier to lie when people can’t see or hear you. In the course, I will tell you which of the following have the most lies:



___Phone conversations

___Face to Face interactions

I’ll give you a hint: Shockingly, we lie the LEAST in emails.

Why is Lie Detection Important?

It is important when we know we are being lied to because it can save us money, time and sometimes even our safety. This course can train you to get to the truth 80% to 90% of the time. That can save you money on a faulty house, from hiring a bad employee or making sure you know what is really going on with your child or significant other. Unfortunately, we are not good at detecting lies. We are only right about 54% of the time! That is a little better than a coin toss.

Let me teach you how to spot lies so you can have more honest interactions and connections with the people around you.

Join me in How to Be A Human Lie Detector!

    • Computer speakers
    • Over 37 lectures and 4 hours of content!
    • How to spot lies
    • How to read body language
    • How to be a human lie detector
    • How to uncover hidden emotions
    • How to read people
    • How to get to truth in relationships
    • How to spot lies in business, social situations and networking
    • How to build honest relationships and communications
    • Anyone who has ever interacted with another person!
    • Entrepreneurs
    • Parents
    • Business people
    • Sales
    • HR
    • Teachers
    • Employers
    • Students
    • Employees
    • Poker Players
    • Actors


30 day money back guarantee
Lifetime access
Available on Desktop, iOs and Android
Certificate of completion


  • SECTION 1:
    Overview and Background
  • 1
    Introduction to the Course

    Welcome to the course! I am going to give a brief overview and your course challenge. I have linked to 4 external videos--3 of Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah and one of the Bachelorette. Watch these videos and see what you notice. At the end of the course we will watch them together and you will be amazed at all of the new body language and deception cues you see.


  • 2
    Materials and List of Citations

    Here are all of the materials for the course. You are welcome to have them to follow along, but the videos also include everything you need.

    Also sign up for more practice videos:

    Question Forum:

    Twitter: @vvanedwards

    The slides and PDF are right next to the video in the Supplementary Material Tab, see the screenshot:

  • 3
    The Truth About Lying: An Overview
    We need to review some basic facts about lying before we can get into lie detection. In this video I talk about the importance of lie detection and how it changes relationships as well as facts about lying.
  • 4
    What Is a Science Based Approach?
    Everything in this course is science based. Here we explain how we get the science of lie detection and body language as well as a brief history of lie detection and nonverbal researchers.
  • 5
    Truth About Lying Quiz
    3 questions
  • SECTION 2:
    The 6 Steps of Lie Detection
  • 6
    Introduction to the 6 Steps of Lie Detection
    We are going to talk about the 6 steps of lie detection--which is no easy science. Lie detection is a complex analysis, but can be learned. You do not have to have a natural ability to read people. We can train our brains to spot deception.
  • 7
    The Basics of Lying
    What is the definition of truth and lie? When is a lie common law fraud? In this video I go over the definitions to make sure we are on the same page and also talk about when a lie becomes common law fraud for our students who will be applying these lie detection techniques in the business world. (Feel free to skip ahead to the next video if you are not using the lie detection techniques in business).
  • 8
    6 Steps of Lie Detection
    Here are the 6 steps of lie detection we will be using throughout the entire course. Remember, we will be applying and practicing with these steps over and over again, so if they feel like a lot right now, they will become clearer and clearer as we move on.
  • 9
    Importance of Rapport
    Rapport is essential for accurate lie detection because you want to make sure that people are comfortable enough to speak with you. This also helps take down their nerves so you can get a more accurate baseline.
  • 10
    6 Steps of Lie Detection Quiz
    3 questions
  • SECTION 3:
    Decoding the Face
  • 11
    Why Reading the Face Is Important for Lie Detection
    Why is reading facial expressions so important for lie detection? In this video Vanessa gives and overview of why lie detection and facial expression reading go hand in hand.
  • 12
    This video is your how-to guide on reading the face and how our face displays the seven universal emotions.
  • 13
    Microexpression Examples
    How do microexpressions work in action? Vanessa gives a few examples on lying and the face.
  • 14
    Lensing: A Lie Detector's Greatest Enemy
    Lensing is a lie detectors greatest enemy and one of our biggest challenges in deception detection.
  • 15
    A Lying Face
    What does the face do when it is lying? We have learned microexpressions now it is time to learn what the face typically does when it lies.
  • 16
    Lying and the Eyes
    What can we learn from the eyes and lying? Vanessa busts some popular eyes and lying myths and tells you what behavior to look out for.
  • 17
    The Face Recap
    Here is a quick summary of what we learned about the face and the main points to take into the next section.
  • 18
    The Face and Lying
    4 questions
  • SECTION 4:
    Lie Detection and Body Language
  • 19
    Introduction to Lie Detection and Body Language
    How does body language work with lie detection? Here we talk about why body language is so important for lie detection.
  • 20
    Foundations of Body Language
    Where does body language come from? Is it innate? Vanessa explores the background of body language so we know how to study it. Here is a link of the Kennedy and Nixon debate if you want to see how important body language is in history:

    Kennedy Nixon Debate 

  • 21
    How the Brain Views the Body
    How does the brain help us with reading the body during lie detection? Here Vanessa explains how the brain views the body.
  • 22
    Lying Legs and Feet
    What are some behaviors of the feet and legs that are deception cues? Here we review feet and leg nonverbal signals.
  • 23
    Lying Torso Behavior
    In this video we talk about how the torso can be used in Lie Detection.
  • 24
    Lying Arms and Hands
    In this video we review how the arms and hands change during lying and then how you can spot those differences from the baseline as red flags.
  • 25
    Lie Detection Example
    Here is an example of how lie detection works using what we have learned so far. I start with theoretical examples and at the end of the course we will tie them all together with video examples.
  • 26
    Summary and Review of Body Language and Lying
    A quick summary of body language and lie detection.
  • 27
    Body Language and Lie Detection
    4 questions
  • SECTION 5:
    Vocal Cues to Deception
  • 28
    Vocal Cues to Deception Introduction
    How can we use vocal cues in deception detection? Here is another area that lie detectors can look out for.
  • 29
    Vocal Cues to Deception
    In this video we talk about all the vocal cues to deception.
  • 30
    Vocal Cues Summary and How to Use Voice for Rapport Building
    You can also use your voice and speaking patterns to build rapport--which is very important for baselining. I review how you can do this in this video as well as a quick recap of the section.
  • 31
    Vocal Cues to Deception Quiz
    4 questions
  • SECTION 6:
    Common Lying Red Flags
  • 32
    Introduction to Common Clues to Deceit
    In this video we review the 6 steps of lie detection and where the common clues to deception can really help you spot red flags.
  • 33
    Most Common Lying Red Flags
    Here are the common lying red flags that show up most often when people ar lying.
  • 34
    How to Encourage Truth
    This course is all about searching for truth, so how can you encourage truth in your questions and answers?
  • 35
    Common Lying Red Flags Recap
    This is a quick recap of the lying clues and how to use them.
  • 36
    Red Flag Challenge

    Take our red flag challenge. Any time you see a red flag Tweet me: @vvanedwards or if it is really private and juicy you can email me:

  • 37
    Common Lying Clues Quiz
    3 questions
  • SECTION 7:
    Final Notes
  • 38
    Course Take-Aways
    Here we review some general themes for the course.
  • 39
    Bachelorette Challenge Re-Visited

    Video owned by and courtesy of ABC:

  • 40
    Lance and Oprah Challenge Re-Visited

    Practice your lie detection skills with Lance Armstrong.

    Video owned by and courtesy of

  • 41
    Bonus: Britney Spears Lying

    A bonus video for you to practice seeing if you can see the red flags in this clip!

    Video owned by and courtesy of Dateline:

  • 43
    A Final Note
    PLEASE: Use your powers for good not evil!


Hours of video content
Course Enrollments


  • 101
  • 13
  • 3
  • 0
  • 0


  • Matthew Ondusko
    This course helps with everyday interaction!

    The biggest thing I noticed from the time I started this course to the time I finished the course which took 2 almost full days for me, is that when I first watched the interviews she has practice for to the time I ended I was able to pinpoint many different red flags. It allowed me to completely open that part of my brain to begin noticing more and more in my everyday life. Now I will begin to practice on just about video and TV show that I watch and see if I guess the outcome correctly. I am hoping that this information will help me get to the bottom of every interaction I have in both sales and moving myself into better financial and relationship scenarios! Thank you Vanessa for having this course available!

  • Richard Lock
    Excellent Course - highly recommended.

    Body language is such a critical aspect of communication. The skill of lie detection is useful in all aspects of life, and whilst nothing (legal at least) guarantees 100% success, the techniques are very clearly explained and demonstrated in the course. Vanessa has a very natural, engaging style which makes it easy to take on board the ideas and apply them.

  • Roie Gat
    I love this course....came in handy too.

    So I got this course because it was on sale. I loved the show "Lie to Me" and figured this would be a good skill to know. While it's a lot to take in , I am finding that already I'm starting to notice things. I was watching a TV show last night and knew who the murdered was because he flashed a micro expression for a quick second. Would recommend this course to anyone. It was very well presented and backed up with a lot of science which I like.

  • Aimee White
    Interesting and worthwhile

    I took this course on a bit of a whim but I've found it to be extremely interesting and well delivered. Vanessa is engaging and obvious knowledgeable on the topic of reading people to detect lies - and she manages to pass this info on to us. Totally recommend this course to anyone who ever has to deal with people - which is all of you!

  • Pozitron

    There is much to learn and apply from this course.

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