Body language can give away what you’re feeling (like a “tell” in poker). This, in turn, can make you feel a certain way. The ability to read another person’s body language for hidden clues or secret intentions is one of those dark arts we’d all like to master, but rarely get to actually put into practice outside of the negotiation room or card table.

Recently, a new study from the University of Chicago filmed subjects who were told to either lie or tell the truth when answering questions. Luckily for us, The New York Times took the clips and turned it into an interactive quiz where you can test your own body language reading skills and perceptiveness. 

 The New York Times

The New York Times

Take the quiz here and tell us how well you did in the comments!

Full disclosure: the author of this workbook post came out exactly even, 5/10.


  • Kyle

    8/10 I found myself watching their eyes more than anything to see if they were lying.

    • Sasha

      Their eyes were tripping me up! I read once that if someone looks to the right, they’re remembering, but if they look to the left, they are creating/telling. Did not hold true here. Relying on timing wasn’t good either..

      • Carolina

        That’s because it’s the other way around.🙂
        Check the videos again, usually the ones that were lying were looking up or to their right, the ones that were telling the truth were looking to their left or ahead, into space, to try to remember.

        I think the voice also gives it away, the first girl and the one talking about an experience in the library sounded almost robotic.

  • sarah sky

    9/10 Maybe this is why i have such a hard time in social situations. I looked at their eyes, but also just listened to their passion. Because these were all about personal situations, favorite things, you can rely on people’s passion to give them away about wether its the truth or not. The beyonce one got me though, really. you could not tell that girl like beyonce at all.

  • Adam Thomas


    Body gave it away usually. Fidgeting… looking away…tells…

    The Beyonce one is the one that got me too

    • Sasha

      The Beyoncé one is one of the few that I got right! Then again, my immediate thought was that I would give the same answer, so…

  • Sarah Peterson

    4/10 with the sound off, 6/10 with the sound on. Honestly, the ones I got wrong were ones I was focusing too much on just the body language. I think body language is subtle, and just plays a role in the bigger picture. You have to take body language into consideration along with other indicators like inflection, whether or not the details make sense or seem believable, etc. I’ve heard that the best lies are mostly truth with just one or two tiny details that are untrue, or that are harmless and likely to be true, like white lies almost. I really think body language is just a tiny part, and can’t be depended on as the ONLY indicator.

  • jerricarr

    This was fun? I got 6/10… honestly, on the ones I got wrong, I could’ve gone either way. I just think some people are really good liars and some people aren’t very good at convincing us of the truth!

  • Jared Tohlen

    Definitely a fun experiment. Got 8/10. You could usually tell within the first second if it was a lie or not. The Beyonce one got me, too. Really just didn’t see that coming! This reminds me some of what I read in Malcolm Galdwell’s “Blink”

  • Tanya

    Got 7/10 here and 2/10 during the official test. Official test was harder since you couldn’t really see their eyes…

  • Lasse Larsen

    6/10 But the ones that got me I actually knew they lied but somehow I pressed the other button, interesting social experiment..

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