Although Pinocchio may be a mere fairy tale for children, Spanish scientists at the University of Granada have recently looked into the ‘Pinocchio’ effect.
Their research actually found, contrary to the popular myth from the Disney movie that when we lie our noses grow, that our noses actually shrink a bit when we lie.
The team of researchers created a lie detector test that used thermography in order to determine whether or not people were lying. What they found was that when research participants were lying by calling up their parents, parent or friend (speaking to them for 3-4 minutes) the tip of their nose dropped up to as much as 1.2 degrees Celsius. The temperature of their forehead increased to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
It was also found that a drop in temperature at nose level in fact causes the nose to even shrink slightly. However, the difference is very hard to detect by the human eye.
The thermal lie detector has been named the most reliable one in the world, an entire 10% more reliable than the well known polygraph test. With all things being said, it seems as though we’ve found a ‘reverse Pinocchio effect’ in a rather cute, comical, and surprising way.