A 5 Second Test To Know If Your Friend is a Liar

By Anupum Pant

Here is the test

Give your friend 5 seconds and ask him to draw a Q on his own forehead. Note the direction of the Q’s tail. The kind of Q he draws, will determine if he is a good or a bad liar.  For results, read on. Or watch the following video. [Video]

Self-Awareness test

According to a Psychology paper published by Hass, R. G. in the year 1984, a simple 5-second test can determine, with a good accuracy, if the person you are meeting is a good liar or a bad liar. In other words, it can determine if someone you meet, bears an ability to evade detection while lying or is more likely to get caught.

Extroverts: This liar test is based on a hypothesis that if a person is well aware of how other people see him, or in other words, is a social-situation-ninja, then the person is more likely to be able to evade detection while lying. This comes naturally to extroverts who are well aware of how others see them – which enables them to escape detection by exploiting this knowledge of other people’s perspective.

Introverts, however, aren’t very good at lying because they are self-focused, having less information on how a person they are dealing with sees them. So, when they lie, they normally get caught.

So, to catch a liar you could use a test designed to tell you, if a person’s actions are based on how others see them, or are based on how they see things. This is exactly what the Q test does.

Good liar: Some one who draws the letter Q in a way that would look right to a person looking at them, can be said to be well aware of how others see them. As a result, they can be labeled good liars (not always).

Bad Liar: If they draw it in a way that looks like a Q to them, and looks like an inverted Q to someone looking at them, then you can say that they are not well aware of how people look at them.

It is common sense that this test only works when the person you testing this on, doesn’t know about the test. Also, it isn’t a 100% accurate test.

At first, not knowing about the test, I tried it on me. I turned out to be an introvert and a bad liar – Quite accurate, I must say.

Working Memory – Chimpanzees vs. Humans

By Anupum Pant

At least in one known cognitive area, chimpanzees prove to be far smarter than human beings. While it is possible for humans to train themselves up to some extent at it, they lack the capacity for an excellent working memory. On the other hand, chimps naturally display a remarkable working memory.

So, naturally the next question we’d ask – what exactly is working memory and how can I beat chimps at it?

But before that is answered, let us have a look at this study conducted by Japanese scientists.
In the study, scientists use a test where numbers from 1 to 9 are arranged on a screen randomly. The test taker is given a chance to remember all the nine positions. When the subject is ready, the areas go blank and the user is required to recall all the nine numbers in sequence. One mistake and the subject has to start over. In the test, we see this chimpanzee named Ayumu showing remarkable ability in terms of working memory. The opponent human loses badly.

BTW at this test, the chimp Ayumu, can now recall 19 numbers in sequence without making a single mistake. Not just Ayumu, this knack is observed in all chimps.


As the researcher mentions, chimps are not the same as humans. Both humans and chimps had a common ancestor several millions of years ago. Now, both of these species have evolved in their own ways for all these years. While they’ve gotten good at something, we’ve picked up different abilities. You don’t have to feel bad about it.

This ability to actively hold multiple pieces of information in the mind and play with them has helped these chimps to survive in the wild by helping them to make quick decisions. As a result, they have evolved to master it.

Training + Caveat

Although you can train yourself to have an amazing working memory, you’ll probably never be able to beat chimps. Also, you should know that very few humans have a nearly equal level of working memory as compared to chimps, and these are the people who are affected by a mental disability called the Savant syndrome. It is beyond common humans to train themselves to chimp-level-working memory.

A game known as n-back, used as a test and an exercise tool can help you to master your working memory. The game starts easy. Then you move on to the second level where things straight away move from easy to difficult. The next levels seem impossible at first. But it has been proved that this game can help you to improve your working memory. The harder you train, the better you get at it; of course, never as good as Ayumu.

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