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Millions of videos are circling around the Internet’s many platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Dailymotion, Twitter, etc. Whether it’s audiobooks, tutorials (what with COVID-induced learning from home), or podcasts, it can be spoiled for choice.

Even though we’re able to reach and watch everything we need online, downloading the videos on your device has many benefits. And with benefits comes challenges! Many challenges, such as poor Internet connection and slow buffering, can be overcome by downloading your videos to your device. Moreover, in many places the Internet doesn’t exist. Maybe we’re a bit used to having a perfect connection wherever we go so now we’re a bit stranded when the big wide web is unavailable or erratic.

I’m not really eager to watch low-quality videos that will pause every ten seconds. Once you download everything you want to watch on your device, you don’t have to worry about these headaches anymore. With a video downloader, you can save all of that on your device and access it whenever and wherever you want. You can keep everything you need nicely organized in the same place, study on the go, and not worry about the Internet connection. It boils down to convenience. And of cause you can be that good dude who shares with family and friends.

I have used 4k Video Downloader for more than 5 years now.

Let me not spoil something with my words then: Here it is https://www.4kdownload.com/products/product-videodownloader?r=free_license

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Caleb

How to Properly React to a Fraud or Suspicion of Fraud at the Workplace

Introduction

We at Crowe Forensics have found, and are being called upon to attend to, an upsurge in fraud and other white collar misdemeanors at various workplaces in Zimbabwe. This surge has become relentless as of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, Courts have virtually desisted from entertaining any workplace fraud case without a Forensic Audit Report. Though this judicial requirement has always been in existence, it has now almost become obligatory.

It is in view of these developments that Crowe Forensics has found it necessary to forewarn clients and other organisations of the pitfalls of having the Court or public prosecutors order a Forensic Audit when a case is presented before them. The result of such an order will invariably entail a near panic scramble to find qualified Forensic auditors amid tight timeframes.

Be Prepared

Here is a primary action checklist when a fraud is discovered or suspected:

  1. Alert the designated fraud incident go-to person that an allegation or suspicion exists.
  2. Document the date, time and details of initial report or discovery
  3. Take notes of all observations and actions – it’s better to have more notes than less.
  4. Maintain confidentiality
  5. Do not confront the suspect, yet
  6. Write out in full the 5wh checklist of suspected act or wrongdoing
  7. Identify all documentary and other evidence connected to the activity
  8. Overtly obtain proof or evidence of the activity and place in a secure place
  9. Protect evidence from damage or contamination
  10. List each item individually taking note of acquisition and location and where securely stored
  11. Identify all potential witnesses
  12. Secure electronic evidence. Do not go into the suspect/target computer systems – leave the device as it is.
  13. Secure and/or remove suspect’s access to relevant computers and systems. Do not anyone besides a forensic specialist to examine the computer systems
  14. Consider other potential conspirators and extent of fraud.
  15. Alert or approach Crowe Forensics (or any other competent and certified Forensic Auditor) as soon as possible, preferably within 12 hours.

It is therefore our advice to have a trusted Forensic Auditor on call so that advice and assistance can be available at the press of a button.

Caleb Mutsumba, RPA, ACFE

Forensic  Audit Consultant

Mobile / WhatsApp: +263 712 620287/+263 772 466540 

caleb@5wh.co.zw

http://zw.linkedin.com/in/calebmutsumba

Compliments of the Season!

I hope I find you well.

Compliments of the Season!

Here’s a quick note to let you know that as of 1 January 2021 I am becoming part of the Crowe Chartered Accountants family [www.crowe.com/global]. As head of the Forensics Business Unit of Crowe Zimbabwe/Zambia, I nonetheless offer the services of Forensic Auditing, Fraud Examination and Fraud Risk Management as well as all the related chores that we Public Accountants offer. The only difference is that this time around you will have the entire resource base of Crowe, including the global network, at your back and call.

Please feel free to reach out to me so that we may get to deepen our relationship, as well as establish possible linkages.

 Have a merry Christmas and wonderful New Year.

Regards

Bad Grammar can Negatively Affect Your Business

“I sell stuff, not grammar.” It’s easy for many business owners to say this; playing down the importance of good grammar in business.

First impressions affect the outcomes of a variety of interpersonal encounters. In sales encounters, a prospective customer’s first impression of a salesperson affects how the prospect views both the seller’s business and his or her products. When first encounters occur through written material, bad grammar can hurt your business in many ways. Here are just five of them:

1. Lower your credibility

Using poor grammar in your presentation, discussion, papers, proposals, emails, and online content, etc., would generally lower your credibility – as perceived by the reader or listener. Poor grammar invites the reader to flag your email as spam on the first sentence. That’s because spammers, in general, are notoriously ungrammatical.

Ungrammatical content discredits you at first sight. It sends a message of sloppiness, and consequentially, a red flag to your competence and professionalism.

You want to be perceived as credible and influential? Then keep your grammatical errors at bay, or at least to the barest minimum.

2. Scare prospects away

Would you do business with someone who can’t even express himself correctly, or someone too lazy to tidy up her writing? I bet you wouldn’t.

When bad grammar lowers your credibility, prospects begin to doubt you and your ability, and then they’re too scared to do business with you. Alas, you lose them to the competition.

Proof: Research conducted by Global Lingo (https://realbusiness.co.uk/poor-grammar-on-websites-scares-59-away/) found that 59% of Britons would not use a company with poor grammar on its website.

3. Mislead prospects

Needless to say, you can pass on the wrong message to your reader by using bad grammar and misspellings. A simple blunder could change the meaning of a whole paragraph, if not the whole article.

If you’re still finding it hard to wrap your head around how bad grammar or misspellings can mislead your prospect, just consider the classic Mr. Bones, “toilet vs. to let”, situation. Imagine Bones your prospect.

4. Affect search rankings

Search engines always try to offer searchers the best results for their queries. And this includes displaying the well-written content above others in its space. Now imagine what happens to a badly written article.

While Google hasn’t expressly confirmed that it considers spelling and grammatical errors in ranking sites, other search engines like Bing have confirmed that blunders affect their content ranking. They believe if humans will find it hard to understand your content, search robots too will have a hard time with it.

In other words, you want to avoid spelling and grammatical errors on your website and in your content as much as possible.

5. Distract readers

Trust me, you don’t want readers of your messages focusing on your spelling and grammatical blunders instead of the core of those messages. That’s what bad grammar does: dilutes your message and makes the reader lose interest as the flow of your message is constantly being disturbed by your poor writing. Your content is ultimately trashed.

I have had a headache understanding the language in the User Manual of one otherwise great electrical gadget. The gadget lost its appeal to me because of the shoddiness in that guide booklet. Bad grammar generally suggests sloppiness in business practices, and this will most likely put off whoever wants to do business with you. To avoid this, always ensure your business materials look professional and are without blunders. Invest in professional editors and proofreaders if you have to. You only have one chance to make a good first impression, so make yours count. This is where I come in. At a nominal fee, I can edit and proofread your product manuals, brochures, circulars, emails and so on.

Contact me:

Caleb Mutsumba
Business Consultant
Mobile / WhatsApp: +263 712 620287. +263 772 466540
Skype: caleb.mutsumba
LinkedIn:- http://zw.linkedin.com/in/calebmutsumba
Blog: – https://5whaudit.wordpress.com/
Twitter:- @Caleb_Mutsumba
Web:- https://5wh.co.zw/
Email:- caleb@5wh.co.zw

Professional Examinations and Past Examination Papers

Past exam papers were a gist of the course when I was studying for my professional examinations. The papers and corresponding examiners’ comments were bound into booklets, which were quite popular. The professional body must have been making roaring business out of them. Besides the possibility of “spotting” the likely examination questions, the papers helped us discern the mind of the examiner, as it were. Furthermore, some of the examiners’ comments made exhilarating reading.

Sign that reads “Exam Room” from a doctors office.

Talking about excitement, here is one such snippet. The question was: “You are the Secretary of a public company. You have been informed that the company is going to go into voluntary liquidation. What steps do you take?” (20 marks). According to the examiner, one candidate submitted the following answer: “I update my CV and start looking for another job”. I would have loved to get 20 marks out of this cute answer!

Still in this fun mood, I wish to thank those college and professional students in Forensic Accounting and related disciplines who have approached me online (and offline) with requests for examination preparations. Besides earning me a little income, the questions have had the effect of keeping me sharp and up-to-date on my professional career. Consequently, any prospective examination candidate in the following areas of my expertise can contact me for advice and assistance:
 Forensic Accounting
 Forensic Audit
 Internal Audit
 Financial and Management Accounting
 Business and Transaction Advisory Services
 Project and General Management
 Company Secretarial/Administration Services
 Due diligence Investigation
 Fraud Investigation, Detection and Prevention programmes

My name is Caleb Mutsumba. You can reach me on:
 Whatsapp: +263712620287 (business) or +263772466540 (personal)
 Email: caleb@5wh.co.zw (business) or calebmutsumba@gmail.com (personal).
 Website: https://5wh.co.zw/

Here is wishing all the best in your exams and please do stay safe, even after COVID-19.
________________________________________

Five Clear Signs That It Is Time To Upgrade Your AR System

Five Clear Signs That It Is Time To Upgrade Your AR System

Here is another thought loaded input from our friends at tesorio.com

Guest PostsGLEN OLSONDECEMBER 16, 2019

Many companies hesitate to upgrade or change their Accounts Receivable System simply because they feel they can continue to achieve the same results using the same systems and processes as they did five years ago. If you are a smaller company just looking to send a few automated dunning letters and have your AR team identify which invoices are past due, there may be no reason to change. But if your company wants to improve free cash flow and cash conversion cycles, you must be sure your AR system is driving efficiencies in your processes – if you hope to grow without spending significant dollars on headcount.  

In today’s collections environment understanding your customer data is one of the most critical elements in your collections process. If you can’t identify customer payment trends or tendencies, it makes it nearly impossible to predict company cash flow. “Cash is King” which all Controllers and CFOs would agree that if you don’t have enough operating cash flow, you can’t grow your business and you can’t really measure the success of your company.  If your current AR system does not have this DATA readily available at the click of a button, you are behind the times and driving inefficiencies. Here are five examples of inefficiencies that should lead you to re-analyze your current AR system and decide whether it is time for an upgrade. 

See How Tesorio Can Boost Your Cash Flow

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1. More Than 1 Hour Required To Generate Reports 

If your AD HOC reports take you more than 1 hour to prepare for management. Today’s premier AR systems have the ability to sort existing customer data and provide essential reporting in a matter of seconds. I see too many managers spending multiple days to prepare an important report for upper management that could easily be prepared quickly and accurately with a better AR Tool. This is not an efficient use of a managers time, which is probably already stretched to the point of frustration. These types of specialized reports only take managers away from managing their teams, so it is important that these reports are readily available.

2. AR System Can’t Identify Non-Paying Customers 

If your AR system can not easily identify why your customers are not paying you, it is time to re-evaluate if your current system is the right one for you. This is critical information for the business to improve your internal processes, to reduce delays long term, and get your customers to pay you sooner and ultimately reduce your DSO. 

3. AR System Cannot Provide Estimated Payment Times 

If your AR system can not provide you quickly additional expected payments over a period of time (monthly/ quarterly). This is a common ask from Controllers and CFOs, especially at the end of the quarter or month to help predict cash flow and progress towards cash targets. If your system is not up to date, often what happens is managers then need to reach out individually to each collector to get updates on promise to pay dates and reasons for delays to provide any accurate information back to upper management. This project could take days to get this information, when again this information could be provided in a matter of seconds. Some collections systems can even use customers historical payment data and trends and predict payment dates based on how they have paid you in the past. This allows collections teams to be more efficient to help them prioritize and really focus on who they need to follow up with for payment and identifying high risk customers. 

4. Cannot Provide Strategic and One Time Dunning Campaigns

If your company only has the ability to run a dunning campaign based on the number of days past due, and does not allow you to target specific customers types including by region, invoice amount, new customers or high/low risk customers, it may be time to look for a new AR System. Automated Dunning Campaigns targeting specific customer types are critical to allow the collections team to focus on more complicated and time consuming customer issues, while still increasing your cash flow. Many companies need a one time dunning campaign to target a specific customer type. For example, you may want to run a campaign that targets customers who pay by check to help move them over to ACH for faster payments. If your system can’t provide that, you are behind the times in your collections processes and hurting your potential cash flow..

5. Cannot Identify High Risk Past Due Accounts Quickly 

If your current AR Tool does not allow your collections team to identify certain high risk past due accounts quickly, it may be time for a new AR Tool. Some collectors have a hard time identifying what they should focus on a daily, weekly, or even on a monthly basis. Most premier AR Tools allow management to help prioritize collection accounts for their collectors daily and assign specific tasks and work-lists to their collectors. This is critical in helping to drive desired performance from your collections teams to achieve your best results. 

Conclusion: Spend Less Time Reporting, More Time Generating Cash 

If your collections department is spending endless hours preparing manual reports, you are only hurting your company cash flow. I think all managers would agree that they would rather have their collectors focus on collections rather than endless manual reporting. By upgrading your AR systems, your cash flow improvement will be significant enough to allow you to plan for growth and save significant dollars on headcount.

Eight Steps to An Effective Dunning Campaign

Welcome to 2020 everyone.

Before I share this, my first post of the year, let me, as a Forensic Audit Consultant, share with you what I got from a friend recently. It goes like this: “While writing a date on any document in this year of our Lord 2020, we should write it in its full format, e.g. 31/01/2020 and not as 31/01/20. That’s because a nefarious person can change it to 31/01/2011 or 31/01/2019 or any year in between. That can render the document invalid. Fraud is close too.”

Now to the post which comes to us thanks to our friends at Tesorio blog.

Eight Steps to An Effective Dunning Campaign

Accounts Receivable

KOBEN WILLIAMS
MAY 10, 2019

If you sell to customers on credit, you are probably already using dunning letters. These are simple notes that tell a customer “Hey, you’re overdue. Can you please pay us?” You can send a dunning letter via email or as a paper letter. Sounds simple? Actually, no. To write an effective dunning letter requires great attention to detail and often creativity. The best collections teams are constantly testing dunning campaigns and making changes to try to improve them, and they are measuring their results. While this may require more upfront time and thought, taking a more detailed and creative approach to dunning should yield significant dividends from better response rates to your dunning campaign. Here’s a quick guide to writing a rockstar dunning letter.

Determine Your Dunning Campaign Metrics
What do you want to measure to see how well your dunning campaign is working? This is a key consideration because it allows you to use data to judge your results and compare different campaigns against each other. Some basic metrics you might consider include email open rate, email response rates (meaning, they replied), clicks on links in an email (if you have sent them a payment link, ideally), and percentage of recipients who pay within 30 days or 60 days. Also, receiving your letter as well as the percentage of total invoices paid by recipients who do pay. For paper dunning campaigns, the metrics are more simple; did the customer pay? Often a company will send both, and that’s normal. Yes, the ultimate bottom line is simple: how much cash does your campaign collect? But studying these other metrics might give you directional guidance. For example, if your email open rate is better for one campaign than another, this likely indicates better payment rates and probably indicates better recipient engagement. So you may want to look at how the more successful campaign was different to apply those insights to improve other campaigns.

Email, Paper or Both?
Certainly, email is more convenient. It also allows the inclusion of links to payment options. Email is also easier to track and follow up on. That said, sometimes paper still cuts through the noise and grabs someone’s attention. It feels more serious. We wouldn’t recommend paper as a primary means of sending dunning notices, but you may want to consider sending them alongside emails for greater effect. If so, definitely refer back to the email in the letter in order to guide the recipient to quicker action. (In fact, consider that your dunning email may have been screened as spam or deposited in a low-priority inbox, a common occurrence with Google Mail).

Test the Subject Line and Copy
This goes back to the discussion above about metrics. Dunning campaigns are actually just another type of email marketing. Email marketers have long known that the subject line of their messages can strongly influence the likelihood of recipients to open that email. If you are sending a high volume of dunning emails, then it’s definitely worth your time to test different subject lines. (This is called A/B testing.) The basic rule of thumb in A/B testing is simple. Never test more than two subject lines at a given time in order to make sure you know the true impact of each change. What applies to subject lines also applies to copy in the dunning letters. Try two different versions of a letter to customers in the same segment (meaning size or days overdue or geography). (Here is a link to a good beginner article on A/B testing).

Adopt the Right Tone
Obviously, collecting money is serious business. However, bone dry or threatening dunning letters may perform worse than a dunning letter with a gentle touch or even a little bit of humor. You don’t know what’s going on inside the company; there could be major problems and a lot of stress. The accounts payable team may be under tremendous pressure. While that’s not your problem, you want to treat them with empathy. So for the first letter in a dunning campaign, consider a conciliatory and relaxed tone. For subsequent letters, you may want to adopt a more serious tone with specified negative consequences (i.e. a service cut off or submission to a collections agency) laid out very clearly. To make it clear that matters are growing more serious with each letter, you probably don’t want to use the exact same dunning letter copy for the first, second and third notices. Additionally, there may be cultural nuances for customers in different geographies or from different countries and industry sectors. So factor all of these into the tone and where you are in the collection cycle. If you are very unsure of how to write a good collections letter, you can have an attorney do it for you (or even post it on a legal site like UpCounsel where an attorney can write one for a relatively small fee).

Make It Personal (If You Can)
There is a reason why sales teams increasingly adopt tools that allow for brief personalized notes on outreach emails. Personalization works. It shows the recipient of a dunning email that you have taken the time to acknowledge them as a person. Granted, dunning and collection letters are not the happiest communication but the purpose is very similar to that of a sales email; you are trying to close the invoice, rather than the sale. Personalization is not always possible. For example, if there is high turnover at the debtor company or if all invoices and notices go through a centralized email box, personalization can be challenging. And you probably don’t want to put a personalized subject line because it may appear unprofessional in such a serious situation. But if, for instance, you have a personal contact at the customer company, even a brief mention can humanize the interaction and reframe the request as coming from one person to another. Manual personalization of dunning letters can be very time consuming so you may want to consider using a system that can automate some of the personalization or allow you to quickly add a note to the body of an otherwise standardized letter. In this same vein, if at all possible, make the dunning email come from a personal email (joe@company.com) rather than a system email address (ar@company.com). Personal emails are more likely to be read and less likely to get filtered as Spam.

Make It (Ridiculously) Easy to Pay
This sounds silly but including a link to direct payment options will radically increase the chances that you will get paid quickly. The link should take them to a payment gateway that can ideally handle credit card, ACH/EFT, and Wires. Make it stupid simple for the recipient to pay their debt. For that payment link, as well, make sure that you are sending a secure (https://) domain. With the rise in spearfishing and email fraud targeting company AP departments, it’s important to make the paying feel as secure as possible.

Speed Up the Cadence
Many companies have a practice in collections and accounts receivable management that is to send out the first collections notice when a customer is 15 to 30 days late in paying their invoice. This may be too long to wait. A good amount of research has found that the earlier you notify customers they are late, the more likely you are to get paid. In fact, as often as not, late payment isn’t a conscious decision but an oversight or a reflection of your low priority in the bulging queue of an overworked accounts payable team. With that in mind, you may want to send the first note even if the invoice is a week or even a few days late. Consider, as well, the size of the customer and past customer payment behavior. If a customer pays 30 days late like clockwork, then it may not be worth the effort to accelerate their payment because you are encountering an internal policy of 30 days late payment. (You might be able to learn this information from a quick conversation with your AP team counterpart).

Consider Whether Advanced Dunning Automation Tools Makes Sense
Most of the ERP systems, such as NetSuite, have some automated dunning campaign features. That said, collections teams may want to consider third-party solutions that give greater flexibility and control over dunning. For example, running campaign tests in many ERP dunning systems is not possible, and creating multiple templates is time-consuming and challenging. If your dunning ERP’s default automation system is boxing you in and is hard to use, you may want to consider shopping around for a collections automation product that has modern software features like team assignments, bulk actions, and multiple-templates. Dunning automation tools can also help you ensure that your emails are actually delivered: just like email marketing, blasting out 1,000 dunning emails in a short span of time will trigger Spam filters and significantly reduce the likelihood that your emails are received, let alone read. Recovering from a Spam catastrophe like this can be painful and require weeks of time working with IT teams. So consider the risk you may be taking before you push send.

Conclusion
After reading this, we hope you will have some ideas on how to think about building out a detailed and effective collections campaign structure. Most of what we talk about here can be turned into a repeatable process that your collections team and accounts receivable managers and analysts can fine tune and revise to improve results. You may want to revisit your process and look at the data a quarter or six months after you first implement. You should see positive results that will convert into improved metrics for Days Sales Outstanding, Average Days Delinquent, and Free Cash Flow.

KOBEN WILLIAMS
MAY 10, 2019
Koben is the Head of Customer Operations at Tesorio.

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How to Tell If Someone Is Lying

How to Tell If Someone Is Lying

Most people lie from time to time. Some of these lies are little white lies intended to protect someone else’s feelings (“No, that shirt does not make you look fat!”). In other cases, these lies can be much more serious (like lying on a CV) or even sinister (covering up a crime).

People also like to believe that they are pretty good at detecting lies and folk wisdom suggests a wide variety of ways to root out dishonesty. Some of the most common: Liars tend to fidget and squirm. They won’t look you in the eye. They have shifty eyes when they are telling a lie. Research suggests that most of these notions are simply old wives tales.

Clearly, behavioral differences between honest and lying individuals are difficult to discriminate and measure. Many studies have shown that even trained investigators are remarkably poor at telling if someone is lying or telling the truth.

Several studies have shown that while individual signals and behaviors are useful indicators of deception, some of the ones most often linked to lying (such as eye movements) are among the worst predictors. So while body language can be a useful tool in the detection of lies, the key is to understand which signals to pay attention to.

Psychologists have also utilized research of body language and deception to help members of law enforcement distinguish between the truth and lies. Researchers at UCLA conducted studies on the subject in addition to analyzing 60 studies on deception in order to develop recommendations and training for law enforcement. The results of their research were published in the April 2016 issue of the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry.

Here is what body language can (and cannot) tell you on how to actively root out lies, and why you should trust your instincts. A few of the potential red flags the researchers identified that might indicate that people are deceptive include:
• Being vague; offering few details
• Repeating questions before answering them
• Speaking in sentence fragments
• Failing to provide specific details when a story is challenged
• Grooming behaviors such as playing with hair or pressing fingers to lips

Lead researcher R. Edward Geiselman suggests that while detecting deception is never easy, quality training can improve a person’s ability to detect lies. “Without training, many people think they can detect deception, but their perceptions are unrelated to their actual ability. Quick, inadequate training sessions lead people to over-analyze and to do worse than if they go with their gut reactions.”

Research has also shown that people do tend to pay attention to many of the correct behavioral cues associated with deception. A 2001 meta-analysis by researchers Hartwig and Bond found that while people do rely on valid cues for detecting lies, the problem might lie with the weakness of these cues as deception indicators in the first place.

Some of the most accurate deception cues that people do pay attention to include:
• Being vague: If the speaker seems to intentionally leave out important details, it might be because they are lying.
• Vocal uncertainty: If the person seems unsure or insecure, they are more likely to be perceived as lying.
• Indifference: Shrugging, lack of expression, and a bored posture can be signs of lying since the person is trying to avoid conveying emotions and possible tells.
• Overthinking: If the individual seems to be thinking too hard to fill in the details of the story, it might be because they are deceiving you.

The lesson here is that while body language may be helpful, it is important to pay attention to the right signals. Experts suggest that relying too heavily on such signals may impair the ability to detect lies. Next, learn more about a more active approach to figuring out if someone is telling the truth.

Ask Them to Tell Their Story in Reverse

Lie detection is often seen as a passive process. People often assume that they can just observe the potential liar’s body language and facial expressions to spot obvious “tells.” While research has shown that this is a pretty bad way to detect lies, taking a more active approach to uncovering lies can yield better results.

Increasing the Mental Load Makes Lying More Difficult

Research suggests that asking people to report their stories in reverse order rather than chronological order can increase the accuracy of lie detection. The researchers suggest that the verbal and non-verbal cues that distinguish between lying and truth-telling become more apparent as cognitive load increases. In other words, lying is more mentally taxing than telling the truth. If you add even more cognitive complexity, behavioral cues may become more apparent.

Not only is telling a lie more cognitively demanding, but liars typically exert much more mental energy toward monitoring their behaviors and evaluating the responses of others. They are concerned with their credibility and ensuring that other people believe their stories. All this takes a considerable amount of effort, so if you throw in a difficult task (like relating their story in reverse order), cracks in the story and behavior tells might become easier to spot.

Finally, what’s the best way to spot a liar? The reality is that there is no universal, sure-fire sign that someone is lying. All of the signs, behaviors, and indicators that researchers have linked to lying are simply clues that might reveal whether a person is being forthright.

So the next time you are trying to gauge the veracity of an individual’s story, stop looking at the clichéd “lying signs” and learn how to spot more subtle behaviors that might be linked to deception. When necessary, take a more active approach by adding pressure and make telling the lie more mentally taxing by asking the speaker to relate the story in reverse order.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, trust your instincts. You might have a great intuitive sense of honesty versus dishonesty, you just need to learn to heed those gut feelings.

Credit: www.verywell.com
________________________________________

.

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli – Chapter 2

Chapter 2

DOES HARVARD MAKE YOU SMARTER?: Swimmer’s Body Illusion

Professional swimmers don’t have perfect bodies because they train extensively. Rather, they are good swimmers because of their physiques. How their bodies are designed is a factor for selection and not the result of their activities. Similarly, female models advertise cosmetics and thus, many female consumers believe that these products make you beautiful. But it is not the cosmetics that make these women model-like. Quite simply, the models are born attractive and only for this reason are they candidates for cosmetics advertising. As with the swimmers’

bodies, beauty is a factor for selection and not the result. For example, Harvard has the reputation of being a top university. Many highly successful people have studied there. Does this mean that Harvard is a good school? We don’t know. Perhaps the school is terrible, and it simply recruits the brightest students around.

 

Whenever we confuse selection factors with results, we fall prey to the swimmer’s body illusion.

 

Be wary when you are encouraged to strive for certain things – be it abs of steel, immaculate looks, a higher income, a long life, a particular demeanour or happiness. You might fall prey to the swimmer’s body illusion. Before you decide to take the plunge, look in the mirror – and be honest about what you see.

 

See also Halo Effect (ch. 38); Outcome Bias (ch. 20); Self-Selection Bias (ch. 47)

The Art of Thinking Clearly

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

I will be serially doing abstracts of the marvelous Rolf Dobelli’s book, The Art of Thinking Clearly. I enjoyed the book. I ‘ll do a chapter at a time. I enjoyed the book. I ‘ll do a chapter at a time.

Chapter 1

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT CEMETERIES: Survivorship Bias

In daily life, because triumph is made more visible than failure, we systematically overestimate our chances of succeeding. As an outsider, we succumb to an illusion, and we overlook how minuscule the probability of success really is. We are victims of Survivorship Bias, which simply means this: people systematically overestimate their chances of success.

We should guard against it by frequently visiting the graves of once-promising projects, investments, and careers. It is a sad walk, but one that should clear one’s mind.