Spotting Moftiss in a Lie
DISCLAIMER: Liespotting can be a bit imprecise. This post is based on research that scientists have gathered about how to tell if someone is being dishonest. PLEASE take this with a grain of salt, as even scientists tend to disagree on the signs at times. I tried to take the most agreed upon signs and analyze the first 1 minute and 30 seconds of the Cambridge Q&A.
Okay let’s begin.
1) FIND THE BASELINE
Before you can tell if someone’s lying, you need to know how they usually behave/tell the story. People usually deviate from their baseline behavior/story when they say something fishy. The baseline for us is Jan 31st when Moffat talks about season 4&5.
January 31st, 2014 on planning season 4&5:
MOFFAT: Yes, we do. It’s really [Season] 4 that we’ve got, but it throws forward to a terrifying [Season] 5. It wasn’t a planned thing. We had just got out of the rain and because we don’t have the lovely big trailers that Benedict and Martin have, we had to go sit in the accountancy department and we just talked about what we could do. We just started having what I think are the best (set) of ideas we’ve ever had. I think (they)’re just wild. And when I say ideas, it’s what stories we’ll tackle, what big twists there will be, what gut punches there will be, and what surprises there will be, and I think it’s really exciting.
This behavior then deviates at the Cambridge Q&A on January 20th, 2017:
Steven: Um, we-ahk- we’re not lying. We- we don’t know! We haven’t even sat down and, uh, uh, done any complicated graphs or sums yet. Uh, so, we really, really don’t know.
Mark: We are sitting down now.
Steven originally says that they have planned season 4 and how it relates to the storyline of season 5. Then, Steven takes it back and says they haven’t even really thought about it. Then, Mark and Steven even discredit each other by saying that they haven’t sat down and are currently sitting down to discuss it.
(Thanks to @worriesconstantly for the quotes!)
2) Non-verbal Cues
Fibs make you fidgety. Liars will scratch their noses, rub their necks, pick imaginary lint from their shirts,
or repeatedly shift their position.
position 1 (steven’s legs crossed towards mark, both of marks legs on the ground)
position 2 (both of steven’s legs on the ground, mark’s legs crossed towards steven)
position 3 (both have crossed their legs towards each other)
position 4 (back to the original position) …all in under a minute
Liars may also maintain eye contact too well or consistently look away.
This is a very difficult thing to actually pinpoint. In my opinion, Moffat maintains too much eye contact while discussing season 5, Gatiss looks away far too often. I’ll leave this one up to your judgement.
Liars also wring their hands due to feelings of guilt.
and maintain closed off body language.
(mark’s crossed legs, steven’s hand covering his face, mark’s hands over his crotch, both of their palms are facing down, their bodies are facing each other rather than the interviewer)
Mark seems to be the worse liar in this case. When Steven starts to talk about not knowing anything about season 5, he immediately braces himself and death grips the armchair (better seen in video). Then, strokes his leg from thigh to knee with his palm down which signifies discomfort.
3) TOO MUCH DETAIL and QUALIFIERS
Lies make us chatty. A liar may talk a lot to win you over, but most of those extra sentences are fluff.
See: the immediate evasion by talking about Dr. Who; the repetition of “we don’t know” (also seen as removal of individual responsibility), “who knows”, etc; and then the quick subject change to casting martin and ben despite no one asking them.
AKA They evade the question by adding a lot of details that don’t matter.
MOFFAT: But what you have to do is put out huge amounts of disinformation to try to bury all the secrets
Phrases like “The truth is” or “To be honest” can mean that even if they aren’t lying to you now, they were earlier.
see 1:15-1:17 of the video where they both say “honestly” right after one another despite NO ONE contradicting or fighting them.
4) Finally, there is the Moffat admitting to his tendency to lie
Moffat: “In fairness, I say I’m going to lie, then I lie, and people still get mad at me” (Comic Con 2016 Panel)
Individually, these signs may mean nothing.
All of these signs in under 1:30? Plus their tendency to lie about the show?
I think it’s safe to say that something is UP.
[Please feel free to comment and critique if you see something that is wrong as I am by no means an expert. :) ]