Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 339–351 | Cite as

Deception Detection Expertise

  • Gary D. BondEmail author
Original Article


A lively debate between Bond and Uysal (2007, Law and Human Behavior, 31, 109–115) and O’Sullivan (2007, Law and Human Behavior, 31, 117–123) concerns whether there are experts in deception detection. Two experiments sought to (a) identify expert(s) in detection and assess them twice with four tests, and (b) study their detection behavior using eye tracking. Paroled felons produced videotaped statements that were presented to students and law enforcement personnel. Two experts were identified, both female Native American BIA correctional officers. Experts were over 80% accurate in the first assessment, and scored at 90% accuracy in the second assessment. In Signal Detection analyses, experts showed high discrimination, and did not evidence biased responding. They exploited nonverbal cues to make fast, accurate decisions. These highly-accurate individuals can be characterized as experts in deception detection.


Dynamic eye tracking Deception detection Nonverbal cues Expertise Novices Cues 



The author wishes to thank Drs. Adrienne Lee, Anne Hubbell, Douglas Gillan, Dominic Simon, Timothy Ketelaar, and Daniel Malloy for assistance. Special thanks to Dr. Charles Bond, Jr., who provided statistical assistance and comments; and to Dr. Maureen O’Sullivan for comments. Thanks to graduate students Carlo González and Johnny Ramirez, and undergraduates Caroline Encarnacion, Timothy Dixon, and Ryan Brewer (New Mexico State University); Jennifer Johnson, Lassiter Speller, Amaris Lyles, Deidre Herring, Kristin Peoples, and Deandra Keys (Winston-Salem State University). Thanks to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia for their assistance.


  1. Abernathy, B. (1990). Expertise, visual search, and information pick-up in squash. Perception, 19, 63–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bond, C. F., & DePaulo, B. M. (2006). Accuracy of deception judgments. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 10, 214–234.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bond, G. D., & Lee, A. Y. (2005). Language of lies in prison: Linguistic classification of prisoners’ truthful and deceptive natural language. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 19, 313–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bond, G. D., Malloy, D. M., Arias, E. A., Nunn, S. N., & Thompson, L. A. (2005). Lie-biased decision making in prison. Communication Reports, 18, 9–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bond, C. F., & Uysal, A. (2007). On lie detection “wizards”. Law and Human Behavior, 31, 109–115.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. CBS News. (Producer). (1997). Stalkers: Against the law [Television broadcast]. (Available from CBS News, 524 W. 57th Street, New York, NY 10019).Google Scholar
  7. Charness, N., Reingold, E. M, Pomplun, M., & Stampe, D. M. (2001). The perceptual aspect of skilled performance in chess: Evidence from eye movements. Memory and Cognition, 29, 1146–1152.Google Scholar
  8. DePaulo, B. M., & Pfeiffer, R. L. (1986). On-the-job experience and skill at detecting deception. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 16, 249–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. DePaulo, B. M., & Rosenthal, R. (1979). Telling lies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1713–1722.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. DePaulo, B. M., Rosenthal, R., Rosenkrantz, J., & Green, C. (1982). Actual and perceived cues to deception: A closer look at speech. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 3, 291–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ekman, P. (1985). Telling lies: Clues to deceit in the marketplace, marriage, and politics. New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  12. Ekman, P. (1992). Telling lies: Clues to deceit in the marketplace, marriage, and politics (2nd ed.). New York: W. W. Norton.Google Scholar
  13. Ekman, P., & Friesen, W. V. (1974). Detecting deception from the body or face. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29, 288–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ekman, P., & O’Sullivan, M. (1991). Who can catch a liar? American Psychologist, 46, 913–920.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Ekman, P., O’Sullivan, M., & Frank, M. (1999). A few can catch a liar. Psychological Science, 10, 263–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Ericsson, K. A., & Simon, H. A. (1980). Verbal reports as data. Psychological Review, 87, 215–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ericsson, K. A., & Simon, H. A. (1993). Protocol analysis: Verbal reports as data. Revised edition. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Frank, M. G., & Ekman, P. (1997). The ability to detect deceit generalizes across different types of high stake lies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1429–1439.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Green, D. M., & Swets, J. A. (1966). Signal detection theory and psychophysics. Oxford: Wiley.Google Scholar
  20. Gudjonsson, G. H. (2003). The psychology of interrogations and confessions: A handbook. Chichester: Wiley.Google Scholar
  21. Hartwig, M., Granhag, P. A., & Vrij, A. (2005). Police interrogation from a social psychology perspective. Policing and Society, 15, 379–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kasl, S. V., & Mahl, G. F. (1965). The relationship of disturbances and hesitations in spontaneous speech to anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1, 425–433.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 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.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meissner, C. A., & Kassin, S. M. (2002). “He’s guilty!”: Investigator bias in judgments of truth and deception. Law and Human Behavior, 26, 469–480.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. O’Sullivan, M. (2007). Unicorns or Tiger Woods: Are lie detection experts myths or realities? A response to On Lie Detection Wizards by Bond and Uysal. Law and Human Behavior, 31, 117–123.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. O’Sullivan, M., & Ekman, P. (2004). The wizards of deception detection. In P. A. Granhag & L. Strömwell (Eds.), The detection of deception in forensic contexts. London: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Park, H. S., & Levine, T. R. (2001). A probability model of accuracy in deception detection experiments. Communication Monographs, 68, 201–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Strömwall, L. A., & Granhag, P. A. (2004). The detection of deception in forensic contexts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Vatikiotis-Bateson, E., Eigsti, I. M., Yano, S., & Munhall, K. G. (1998). Eye movement of perceivers during audiovisual speech perception. Perception and Psychophysics, 60, 926–940.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Vrij, A. (2004). Why professionals fail to catch liars and how they can improve. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 9, 159–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Vrij, A., Evans, H., Akehurst, L., & Mann, S. (2004). Rapid judgments in assessing verbal and nonverbal cues: Their potential for deception researchers and lie detection. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 16, 283–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vrij, A., Mann, S., Robbins, E., & Robinson, M. (2006). Police officers ability to detect deception in high stakes situations and in repeated lie detection tests. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 741–755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zuckerman, M., Koestner, R., Colella, M. J., & Alton, A. O. (1984). Anchoring in the detection of deception and leakage. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 301–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Social SciencesWinston-Salem State UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWinston-Salem State UniversityWinston-SalemUSA

Personalised recommendations