What exactly is a lie? Is it anything we say which we know is untrue? Or is it something more than that? For example, suppose a friend wants to borrow some money from you, you say "I wish I could help you but I'm short of money myself." In fact, you are not short of money but your friend is in the habit of not paying his debts and you don't want to hurt his feeling by reminding him of this.Is this really a lie?
Professor Jerald Jellison of the University of Southern California has made a scientific study of lying.
According to him, women are better liars than men, particularly when telling a "white lie".For instance, when a woman at a party tells another woman that she likes her dress, she really thinks it looks awful.
However, this is only one side of the story. Other researchers say that men are more likely to tell more serious lies, such as making a promise which they have no intention of fulfilling.This is the kind of lie politicians and businessmen are supposed to be particularly skilled at: the lie from which the liar hopes to profit or gain in some way.
Research has also been done into the way people's behavior changes in a number of small,apparently unimportant ways when they lie. It has been found that if they are sitting down at the time, they tend to move about in their chairs more than usual.To the trained observer they are saying "I wish I were somewhere else now" .They also tend to touch certain parts of the face more often, in particular the nose.
One explanation of this may be that lying causes a slight increase in blood pressure.The tip of the nose is very sensitive to such changes and the increased pressure makes it itch.
Another gesture which gives liars away is what the writer Desmond Morris in his book Man-watching calls "the mouth cover". He says there are several typical forms of this, such as covering part of the mouth with the fingers, touching the upper-lip or putting the hand at one side of the mouth.Such a gesture can be understood as an unconscious attempt on the part of the liar to stop himself or herself from lying.
Of course, such gestures as rubbing the nose or covering the mouth or moving about in a chair cannot be taken as proof that the speaker is lying. They simply tend to occur more frequently in this situation.It is not one gesture alone that gives the liar away but a whole number of things, and in particular the context in which the lie is told.
1.According to the passage, a "white lie" seems to be a lie （ ）。
A.that other people believe
B.that other people don't believe
C.told in order to avoid offending someone
D.told in order to take advantage of someone
【解析】推理判断题。文中第二段指出，女人善于说一些“white lie”，并举例证明：当一个女人在晚会上向另一个女人说她喜欢她的晚礼服时，其实她认为它很难看。由此可知，“white lie”应是“为了不冒犯他人而说出的话”，故选C。
2.Research suggests that women （ ）。
A.are better at telling less serious lies than men
B.generally lie far more than men do
C.often make promises they intend to break
D.lie at parties more often that men do
【解析】推理判断题。文中第二段说“Other researchers say that men are more likely to tell more serious lies…”，且前面说女人更善于说一些善意的谎言，因此可知A项正确。B、C、D选项都与文意不符。
3.Researchers find that when a person tells lies （ ）。
A.his blood pressure increases measurably
B.he looks very serious
C.he tends to make some small changes in his behavior
D.he uses his unconscious mind
4.One reason people sometimes rub their noses when they tell lies is that （ ）。
A.they wish they were somewhere else
B.the nose is sensitive to physical changes caused by lying
C.they want to cover their mouths
D.they are trying to stop themselves from telling lies
【解析】事实细节题。第三段最后一句话“The tip of the nose is very sensitive to such changes and the increased pressure makes it itch.”可知B项正确。
5.Which of the following may best betray a liar?
A.The touching of the tip of one's nose.
B.The changes of one's behavior.
C."The mouth cover" gesture.
D.The circumstances in which his lie is told.
【解析】事实细节题。文章最后一句话“It is not one gesture alone that gives the liar away but a whole number of things。and in particular the context in which the lie is told.”告诉了我们答案，当时说话的环境才是揭示某人是否在说谎的最重要因素。故选D。