For decades, experts have been convinced that eye movements reveal when someone is lying.
Psychologists believed that looking up to the left indicated honesty, while looking up to the right signalled a lie.
But there is in fact no link between lying and eye movements, according to research.
Scientists filmed the eye movements of a group of volunteers as they told the truth or lied.
A second group watched the films and tried to detect the lies by watching the eye movements.
A follow-up study involved analysing videos of high-profile press conferences in which people appealed for help finding relatives, or said they had been victims of crime.
Volunteers could not tell who was telling the truth and who was lying from their eye movements.
The study's co-author Dr Caroline Watt, of the University of Edinburgh, said: "A large percentage of the public believes certain eye movements are a sign of lying and this idea is even taught in organisational training courses.
"Our research provides no support for the idea and so suggests that it is time to abandon this approach to detecting deceit."
- Daily Mail