It turns out the higher we rate our own EI -- e.g., our touchy-feelie side -- the more likely we are to fall for a lie, according to a new paper published in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia surveyed 116 study participants for EI levels and then had them watch 20 videos of different people pleading for the return of their missing loved ones. What they didn't know is that half of the pleading people had actually committed the crime. The participants were asked to rate how honest or deceptive the pleading people seemed, how confident they felt in what the person in the videotape was saying, and so on.
Basically, the more emotionally intelligent the study participant, the more overconfidence he or she displayed in assessing someone else's sincerity level. Aww, but he seemed like such a nice, trustworthy, honest person!
Of course, emotional intelligence has been a "thing" in the workplace for years now, and books about pinpointing and perfecting one's own EI levels populate the business book section:
Professor [Stephen] Porter says: "Taken together, these findings suggest that features of emotional intelligence, and the decision-making processes they lead to, may have the paradoxical effect of impairing people's ability to detect deceit.
"This finding is important because EI is a well-accepted concept and is used in a variety of domains, including the workplace."
So be careful, because being in touch with your emotions, as well as those of other people, might actually make you less able to spot liars on the job. Then again, good liars can fool pretty much everyone, can't they? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, can't get fooled again. Or something like that? Erm, moving on.