Liespotting Challenge

This post is part of the Liespotting Challenge series.

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Liespotting Lance Armstrong – Part 1: Reader Challenge

Liespotting Lance Armstrong: Take the Liespotting Challenge!

Lance Armstrong hit the news again today with reports that he may have been involved in witness tampering. An ongoing investigation regarding doping charges have plagued him for the last year. What do you think? We will ask Qverity deception detection expert Phil Houston, to look at the video below as well ..but first lets hear from you.  Do you think Lance is lying? Can you name the indicators of deceptive or truthful behavior that he exhibits in the video below? Post your comments here. In a few days we will ask our friends at Qverity to provide their analysis. Can you find what a Master Liespotter finds? We’d love to hear from you.

View the Expert Analysis of This Video

11 responses to this challenge

  1. Doug Robbins says:

    The very first thing he did was a “Palmeiro” hand wag. So he would be better clean than everyone else that was dirty? very improbable

  2. Phil Houston says:

    If we combine the verbal and non-verbal indicators in this interview, which is just over two minutes long, we find there are at least 25 deceptive indicators exhibited by Armstrong. There actually may be even more non-verbals that the camera angle precludes us from observing. This is obviously a very high volume, and strongly suggests that Armstrong was not being candid with respect to his use of performance-enhancing substances.

    Read the full analysis

  3. Martha says:

    Seems to me that he is witholding information. Lots more to tell than he has told and his posture and voice change a lot at key moments

  4. Gerhard Berliner says:

    Say it ain’t so, Joe! America is so often disappointed by its heroes. I almost didn’t want to participate because I so badly want Lance Armstrong to be a squeaky, clean legend. He is one of the great athletes or our time by any measure. However, I fear he’s also a liar.

  5. Ann Leary says:

    Just from this small clip I didn’t see too many overt “tells.” He’s cocky, but that is probably his baseline. He came on the show to discuss issues so that might explain why he is not outraged by allegations anymore, they’ve been going on forever. I’m sure he did use some performance enhancing drugs but I don’t see much in this clip that shows that he. No evasive glances or touching of face. Will be interested to see what the expert says.

  6. Joseph says:

    If someone accused me of something that would ruin my career if proved true, I think I’d go to the nth degree in order to clear the record.

  7. Laura says:

    I see a bunch of “tells” — lack of rage at being falsely accused of something SO BAD, referring to prior “statements”, not answering questions directly, using language like “I would never do that” or “Why would I do that?” (<–good question!). Also: contempt, and the tell of all tells: the "duping delight" smirk.

  8. Alan says:

    As an amateur Liespotter, my first thought upon hearing Armstrong’s self-defense was that it sounded very scripted. Sincerity is lacking in his response, which gives me the impression that he practiced his answer rather than responding naturally.

  9. ClM says:

    Oh yes! So check out the lip puffing and lip biting…and the comforting gesture. He’s nervous about something.

  10. Alex says:

    After reading Liespotting, two other indicators jump out at me:
    At :10, he jerks his head to the right and catches himself before shaking his head.
    The question is “Can you say you have never used an illegal substance?” and he doesn’t directly answer it.
    Knowing people who have worked directly with Lance in Austin, it is certainly true that he is an enormous prick, but that doesn’t mean he’s guilty. He knew he would be asked that type of question, and had a rough canned answer in his head that he pulled out. If he didn’t test positive in 1999, that should be good enough from a sports perspective.

  11. Tim says:

    Fascinating. I am a huge fan of Lance’s and so disappointed to even think he might be lying. But as a junior student of this stuff and reader of the Liespotting book, here is what I think: He sure doesn’t seem mad about being accused. If he was telling the truth he would be a lot more pissed off about being wrongly accused. Also when the real evidence is brought up all he does is question the validity of the test.