Anger can make people seem less trustworthy

Anger can make people seem less trustworthy

New research published in Psychological Science found that being angry at a false accusation can make the accused come off as untrustworthy, and therefore, guilty. However, their anger is usually a sign that they're innocent.

The study noted that we pay attention to other's emotions to understand social situations. It's particularly true when deciding whether we should trust someone.

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Across six studies, researchers explored how laypeople and experts make guilt judgments when the accused person is angry.

The results showed that study participants were more likely to rate angry defendants as guilty. When defendants were silent, participants rated them as most guilty. But it is not just laypeople who view anger as a sign of guilt. Professionals such as fraud investigators and auditors also rated an angry response as a sign of guilt and remaining silent as an indicator of guilt.

In one study, researchers asked participants to complete one of two tasks; one was simple, the other difficult. After the participants finished the tasks, the researchers accused them of doing it incorrectly. The study showed participants who were falsely accused reported higher feelings of anger than those who were rightly accused.

These studies show how most people are not able to detect a lie. Anger is often a sign of innocence.

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Myths about liars - what research says about it

According to deception researcher Maria Hartwig, it's a misconception that you can spot a liar by the way they act.

Despite decades of searching, researchers have found little evidence to support belief about liar's behaviors such as - averted gaze, rapid blinking, talking louder, shrugging, fidgeting, stuttering, movement of the hands, arms, or legs, exaggerated yawning, covering the mouth while speaking, whistling, excessive personal grooming .

None proved reliable indicators of a liar.

Why You Can't Spot a Liar Just by Looking

Simple 20 Minutes Meditation
  • Sit comfortably.
  • Close your eyes or stare at the ground a few feet away from you.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs.
  • Focus your attention on the area a few fingers below your navel.
  • Take a smooth, slow breath in and count each inhale and exhale, from one to ten and then back down to one.
  • Let thoughts come and go. Do not hold onto any particular thought.
  • If thoughts interrupt your counting, come back to your breath, and restart your counting again at 1.

New Study Shows Brief Meditation Can Reduce Anger

The role of anger

Anger is not actually bad for us - it alerts us to the fact that we've been wronged. The racing heart and hot face is your body preparing for a fight or flight response, energizing you to confront injustice.

Anger only becomes a problem if we are unable to manage it, and it manages us instead.

Here’s what your anger is telling you — and how you can talk back

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