The Pinocchio effect: your nose says you’re lying

Lying is the order of the day. From the highest political and economic spheres to the privacy of the alcove, telling the truth is not always the chosen path.

This propensity to be insincere can be sometimes understandable, sometimes immoral. In any case, starting from psychology, we are studying why human beings lie and, as we will see in today’s article, how the act of lying is related to certain psychophysiological indicators.

What is the Pinocchio effect?

As it happens to Pinocchio, your nose indicates that you are lying. But unlike the famous character, the nose does not grow larger, but our face temperature rises, and the same goes for the orbital muscle of the inner corner of lull. When we put in a great mental effort, our face temperature drops, and when we have an anxiety attack, the temperature rises.

These are some of the conclusions drawn from a study carried out at the Department of Experimental Psychology of the University of Granada, which introduced new applications to the thermography. By the way, thermography was also used to design the first body map of human emotions.

Thermography is a technique that detects body temperature. It applies to many fields, such as industry in general, construction and medicine. Thermographic cameras have a wide range of uses: they measure energy loss in buildings, detect respiratory diseases in animals or rabies in washing bears. Thermography was developed in the United States during World War II to detect the presence of enemies (night vision).

    Why does the Pinocchio effect occur?

    Scientists at the Chicago Foundation for the Treatment and Research of Taste and Touch have found that when we lie, chemicals called catecholamines are released, which cause inflammation of the internal tissues of the nose..

    Lies increase blood pressure, and as a result, the nose becomes inflamed, appearing slightly reddened. Experts in non-verbal language have observed that those who lie tend to rub their noses, either with a quick rub under the nose or with a quick, almost imperceptible touch.

    Additionally, the nose is not the only part of the body that becomes inflamed, just like the penis. As far as we know, Pinocchio’s nose only grew when he was lying.

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