Our brain usually stores memories in a quirky way and this often results in deception. The mode of storage of the information is quite different from that of the computer. In the brain, the information is always stored in the hippocampus once received at the first time.
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When a person remembers something, the brain rewrites the information and reprocesses it. During the re-storage, that information is transferred to the cerebral cortex. This often results in a person forgetting whether the information is true or false, a condition called source amnesia. This renders a person susceptible to self deception.
According to Ekman, facial expressions are universal while gestures are specific to a person’s culture. It is therefore possible to detect a person telling a lie from his/her facial expression or non-verbal gestures. It is also possible for someone under great distress to hide the real emotions so as to trick another person to give in to his/her deception.
A liar might avoid gestures; facial expressions and change in tones so as to conceal a certain truth hence avoid being caught. In most cases, the victim of the lie might ignore the clues to the lie in fear of the consequences of the lie being revealed, hence accepting to be lied to (Ekman).
In Rodriguez’s case, Ekman would have looked for non-verbal gestures which indicated that he was lying. While he was being interviewed for instance, his body twitched with emotions. The intensity of the emotions being covered resulted in Rodriguez’s leaking out his real emotions hence exposing the lie. He could not conceal the lie completely. He was trying to conceal many intense emotions and this betrayed him in the form of non-verbal gestures.
The Tiger Woods article is a clear indication that people often believe what they want to believe. Even after the allegations of promiscuity of Woods, it was difficult for people to come to terms with the fact that the much respected figure was actually having a questionable character.
Companies could not easily remove his name in their brands and his name remained in most of the billboards. It is quite clear that his tarnished name could bring a negative image to any brand or the golf industry but most people could not just heed to this. It is quite clear that even after quitting golfing, Woods would come to the limelight especially after another celebrity scandal props up.
People often pay attention to certain information while in a certain emotional state although it might be distorted or false. They tend to believe it when received as the first hand information and any additional information only upgrades the already stored information. Some take such information as the truth and any evidence to counter it is ignored.
In the case of the 9-11, most people were in emotions of pain and anguish at the time of the incidence and any information concerning the cause of the attack at that time was perceived as the truth and any efforts to counter that were not successful. The first information that is stored if often re-processed and re-stored at the cerebral cortex and a person often perceives it as the truth even if it were a lie.
The most intriguing fact is that our brains often lie to us. In some cases, the information is absolutely distorted yet held as the truth and people tend to shun the truth after yielding to such deception. People might come to know the truth but still act in deception as it is in the Tiger Woods’ case.
Ekman, Paul. Telling Lies; Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics and Marriage. New York: NORTON & COMPANY, 1992. Print