Traditional lie detector tests may about to become unnecessary, as scientists have found a new way to tell if someone’s pants are on fire.
Researchers from the University of Granada have discovered that a person’s nose shrinks when they’re telling a lie, thanks to a drop in temperature, something they’re calling the “Reverse Pinocchio Effect.”
Based on their observations, the group has designed a new form of lie detector test that measures the temeprature of a person’s face to see if they’re being deceitful. The scientists claim their test is the most accurate in the world, and is 10% more reliable than a standard polygraph test.
Researchers came to the conclusion after using thermal imaging on 60 students undertaking a range of activities. One of which included calling up a close friend just to tell them a lie. At the same time, a control group watched upsetting videos of car crashes, which they had to describe to someone over the phone.
The heat-sensitive images showed that when a test subject was lying, the temperature of the tip of their nose fell by up to 1.2 degrees celsius, while their forehead rose by up to 1.5 degrees celsius.
The team also found that the larger the difference between the two temperatures, the greater the chance the participant was lying.
Study leader Emilio Gomez Milan said: “One has to think in order to lie, which rises the temperature of the forehead.
“At the same time we feel anxious, which lowers the temperature of the nose.”
The temperature drop also caused the nose to shrink slightly, but the group clarified that this change is indisguishable to the naked eye.
So, unless you’re willing to carry a thermal imaging camera around with you, you’ll just have to take someone’s word for it for now.