, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 28-35

Positive Effects in Detecting Lies from Training to Recognize Behavioral Anomalies

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Abstract

We examined whether training in both the verbal and nonverbal indicators of truth telling and lying would have positive effects on Law Enforcement Officers’ (LEOs) ability to evaluate truths from lies. College course-level training on empirically validated verbal and nonverbal indicators of truth telling and lying was provided to mid- to advanced-career level LEOs, whose accuracy in detecting lies from truths was assessed pre- and post-training using truthful and deceptive videos of mock crimes and opinions. A marginally significant truth bias existed at pre-test; training, however, resulted in a significant improvement in accuracy rates for both truth and lie videos, and the truth bias that existed at pre-test was eliminated. Additional analyses indicated that accuracy rates improved for videos of mock crimes but not for opinions. These findings add to a small but growing literature that indicates that training on validated verbal and nonverbal indicators of truth telling and lying has positive benefits.

Portions of this report were prepared with the support of research grants FA9550-09-1-0281 and FA9550-11-1-0306 from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.