When I see your eyes, I know what you are thinking. When I see your subtle behaviours, I know what you are managing to do. When I see you move, I know what you are going to do.
Who am I? You may guess I am Sherlock Holmes! I think I am smarter than him.
Who am I? I am your mother!
I am sure, a mother can read a kid's body language and then making an accurate judgement, she does it much better than Sherlock Holmes and anyone else in world. Do you know why? Because she has known you, she has observed you since she born you.
Do you believe in reading a person's body language to give you an accurate understanding of the person? I am sorry to tell you the truth, that is no anyone can do it well. Except, your mother and father, as well as some close friends, because they know you well.
Paul Ekman is a psychologist, he focuses on nonverbal communication. In his ongoing research, he has tested people's ability to detect deception in strangers (WizardsofDeceptionDetection.pdf
), and he found the accuracy scores of 50% on average, it's almost no difference from tossing a coin to guess which stranger is deceptive person.
According to the research result, if you merely rely on the techniques of nonverbal communication to judge a stranger, you have 50% chance to make a mistake, it would lead you to have a bias on someone and make an unfair comment on that person.
Suppose all cheaters commonly have a particular set of characteristics; can we judge a person who must be a cheater if the person who has exactly the same set of characteristics? No, we can't. We also need to know the probability of a person who is not a cheater although the one possesses this set of characteristics. What if the chance is very high, let say 90%? There is still 10% chance the person isn't a cheater.
What do I actually want to tell? It is, don't judge anyone without a deep understanding, even you are someone's mother or father. Kids' behaviours change with time, you should try to understand your kids every day and every time. Making a wrong judgement causes improper accusations that would hurt other people. Don't forget, Sherlock Holmes gathered a lot of information in detail, for finding out a concrete evidence before he could make a judgement and draw a conclusion.
There is one type of people who judge a person or an incident with their general impressions or just few pieces of information. They believe themselves are even smarter than Sherlock Holmes.
“Never trust to general impressions, my boy, but concentrate yourself upon details.”
— Arthur Conan Doyle
There is another type of people who just believe in evidence so that they can't prevent any undesired outcomes occur, because they ignore hints to predict a certain bad thing is likely to happen.
I met a top student who became a lazy one. She didn't even concentrate on any lessons. A teacher said that this student has got good academic results before. Don't worry, there is no any evidence to prove her results which will drop down seriously. "Lazy and not concentrate on any lessons, these are already good evidence to predict her next exam results!" said I. The teacher replied, "No, no, no, this is barely your prediction or imagination. We need evidence before we do something. Otherwise, it is unfair to any students!" I had nothing to say at that moment. The teacher is really stupid or lazy to avoid any bad results to occur. Eventually, the top student had very bad exam results as expected. I met that student who frequently held a smartphone in her hands to play video games. She probably got addicted to video games. The teacher isn't willing to handle this student's issues because he still doesn't have any evidence to prove the relationship between playing video game and bad exam results. Is the teacher a logical guy? No, he isn't. I am sure that he is a lazy guy and good at finding excuses for escaping from his responsibility.
A good teacher would pay attention to detail, avoiding any bad things are likely to happen.