Is there a word for the skill, talent, or ability (or the study of being able) to detect lies, observe/identify tells (like in poker), and see through deception with relative ease?

Whether inexplicable, or simply by studying and interpreting human behaviour, micro-expressions, etc.

closed as off-topic by AmE speaker, bookmanu, jimm101, choster, Skooba Oct 5 '18 at 12:08

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  • Probably. Not a very-well known one, though. Try googling "human lie detector," see what it turns up. – Ricky Sep 22 '18 at 17:24
  • There are a few good idioms. – lbf Sep 22 '18 at 18:26
  • 2
    Possible duplicate of previously closed question: A word to describe someone who isn't easily fooled or deceived?. – Weather Vane Sep 22 '18 at 18:29
  • 'Tells' are the giveaways that reveal someone is lying, such as looking downwards to the left which indicates the use of the right brain logical faculty 'thinking' instead of the left brain image memory remembering a real event. Tells.. So I guess a 'teller' would be someone who can spot the signs. – Nigel J Sep 22 '18 at 18:32
  • From Weather Vane's link 'shrewd' and 'canny' are both pretty good imo. – S Conroy Sep 22 '18 at 19:45

The Cambridge dictionary defines Perceptive as;

Very good at noticing and understanding things that many people do not notice.

It's a more generic term than you might be looking for, but it does fit the case you have outlined.

  • you're right though, keen perception and awareness would be a key facet of x – tjt263 Sep 22 '18 at 18:08

For the general ability of being able to evaluate someone (their mannerisms, intentions), I would go with the word "discerning" as adjective, or "discernment" as noun.

Exhibiting keen insight and good judgment; perceptive.
American Heritage Dictionary

having or showing good taste or judgment; discriminating
Collins English Dictionary

Having or showing good judgement.
Oxford Living Dictionaries

1. The act or process of exhibiting keen insight and good judgment.
2. Keenness of insight and judgment.
American Heritage Dictionary

keen perception or judgment
Collins English Dictionary

Experts advise paying close attention to hard-to-hide micro-expressions; these clues are often so difficult to detect that even trained experts have trouble discerning them.
7 Clues Anyone Can Use to Spot a Liar - Readers Digest

Perhaps most surprisingly though, we are generally less interested than we think in actually discerning the truth.
How’s your poker face? Why it’s so hard to sniff out a liar



perspicaciously adverb
perspicaciousness noun
perspicacity noun

[perspicacious]: of acute mental vision or discernment

SHREWD, SAGACIOUS, PERSPICACIOUS, ASTUTE mean acute in perception and sound in judgment. SHREWD stresses practical, hardheaded cleverness and judgment. a shrewd judge of character SAGACIOUS suggests wisdom, penetration, and farsightedness. sagacious investors got in on the ground floor PERSPICACIOUS implies unusual power to see through and understand what is puzzling or hidden. a perspicacious counselor saw through the child's facade ASTUTE suggests shrewdness, perspicacity, and diplomatic skill. an astute player of party politics

"Perspicacious." Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2018.

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