On Lie Detection “Wizards”
M. O’Sullivan and P. Ekman (2004) claim to have discovered 29 wizards of deception detection. The present commentary offers a statistical critique of the evidence for this claim. Analyses reveal that chance can explain results that the authors attribute to wizardry. Thus, by the usual statistical logic of psychological research, O’Sullivan and Ekman's claims about wizardry are gratuitous. Even so, there may be individuals whose wizardry remains to be uncovered. Thus, the commentary outlines forms of evidence that are (and are not) capable of diagnosing lie detection wizardry.
- Bond, C. F., Jr., & DePaulo, B. M. (in press). Accuracy of deception judgments. Personality and Social Psychology Review.
- Ekman, P., & O’Sullivan, M. (1991). Who can catch a liar? American Psychologist, 46, 913–920. CrossRef
- Ekman, P., O’Sullivan, M., & Frank, M. G. (1999). A few can catch a liar. Psychological Science, 10, 263–266. CrossRef
- Etcoff, N., Ekman, P., Magee, J. J., & Frank, M. G. (2000). Lie detection and language comprehension. Nature, 405, 139. CrossRef
- Frank, M. G., & Ekman, P. (1997). The ability to detect deception generalizes across different types of high-stakes lies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1429–1439. CrossRef
- Frank, M. G., Paolantonio, N., Feeley, T. H., & Servoss, T. J. (2004). Individual and small group accuracy in judging truthful and deceptive communication. Group Decision and Negotiation, 13, 45–59. CrossRef
- Garrido, E., Masip, J., & Herrero, C. (2002). Police officers’ credibility judgments: Accuracy and estimated ability. International Journal of Psychology, 39, 276–289.
- Granhag, P. A., & Stromwall, L. A. (2004). Deception detection in forensic contexts. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
- Howell, D. C. (2002). Statistical methods for psychology (5th ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury Press.
- Kassin, S. M., & Fong, C. T. (1999). “I’m innocent!”: Effects of training on judgments of truth and deception in the interrogation room. Law and Human Behavior, 23, 499–516. CrossRef
- Meissner, C. A., & Kassin, S. M. (2002). “He's guilty:” Investigator bias and judgments of truth and deception. Law and Human Behavior, 26, 469–480. CrossRef
- Nickerson, C. A. E., & Hammond, K. R. (1993). Comment on Ekman and O’Sullivan. American Psychologist, 48, 989. CrossRef
- Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw Hill.
- O’Sullivan, M. (2003). The fundamental attribution error in detecting deception: The boy-who-cried-wolf effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 1316–1327. CrossRef
- O’Sullivan, M. (2005). Emotional intelligence and deception detection: Why most people can't ‘read’ others, but a few can. In R. E. Riggio & R. S. Feldman (Eds.), Applications of nonverbal communication (pp. 215–253). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
- O’Sullivan, M., & Ekman, P. (2004). The wizards of deception detection. In P. A. Granhag & L. A. Stromwall (Eds.), Deception detection in forensic contexts (pp. 269–286). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Press.
- O’Sullivan, M., Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1988). The effect of comparisons on detecting deceit. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.
- Rosenthal, R. (1994). On being one's own case study: Experimenter effects in behavioral research—30 years later. In W. Shadish & S. Fuller (Eds.), The social psychology of science (pp. 214–229). New York: Guilford Press.
- Vrij, A. (2001). Detecting lies and deceit: The psychology of lying and the implications for professional practice. New York: Wiley.
- On Lie Detection “Wizards”
Law and Human Behavior
Volume 31, Issue 1 , pp 109-115
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
- Additional Links
- deception detection
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, USA
- 3. Department of Psychology, Texas Christian University, P. O. Box 298920, Fort Worth, Texas, 76129, USA
- 2. Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, Turkey