Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 302–315 | Cite as

Clusters of Nonverbal Behaviors Differ According to Type of Question and Veracity in Investigative Interviews in a Mock Crime Context

  • David MatsumotoEmail author
  • Hyisung C. Hwang


Evaluating truthfulness and detecting deception is a capstone skill of criminal justice professionals, and researchers have long examined nonverbal cues to aid in such determinations. This paper examines the notion that testing clusters of nonverbal behaviors is a more fruitful way of making such determinations than single, specific behaviors. Participants from four ethnic groups participated in a mock crime and either told the truth or lied in an investigative interview. Fourteen nonverbal behaviors of the interviewees were coded from the interviews; differences in the behaviors were tested according to type of question and veracity condition. Different types of questions produced different nonverbal reactions. Clusters of nonverbal behaviors differentiated truth tellers from liars, and the specific clusters were moderated by question. Accuracy rates ranged from 62.6 to 72.5% and were above deception detection accuracy rates for humans and random data. These findings have implications for practitioners as well as future research and theory.


Deception Nonverbal behavior Facial expressions Voice Gestures Truthfulness 



This work was funded in part by the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group contract J-FBI-12-197 awarded to Humintell LLC. Statements of fact, opinion, and analysis in the paper are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the FBI or the US Government.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Both authors are employees of Humintell, to whom the grant was awarded to support this project.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants in the study.


  1. Anolli L, Ciceri R (1997) The voice of deception: vocal strategies of naive and able liars. J Nonverbal Behav 21(4):259–284. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baumeister RF, Masicampo E (2010) Conscious thought is for facilitating social and cultural interactions: how mental simulations serve the animal–culture interface. Psychol Rev 117(3):945–971. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bijlstra G, Dotsch R (2011) FaceReader 4 emotion classification performance in images from the Radboud Faces Database. Retrieved from and
  4. Bond CF, DePaulo BM (2006) Accuracy of deception judgments. Personal Soc Psychol Rev 10(3):214–234. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Cartmill EA, Goldin-Meadow S (2016) Gesture. In: Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Frank MG (eds) APA Handbook of nonverbal communication (pp. TBD). American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chentsova-Dutton YE, Tsai JL (2010) Self-focused attention and emotional reactivity: the role of culture. J Pers Soc Psychol 98(3):507–519. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Christie R (1970) Scale construction. In: Christie R, Geis FL (eds) Studies in machiavellianism. Academic Press, New York, pp 10–34. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Davis M, Markus KA, Walters SB, Vorus N, Connors B (2005) Behavioral cues to deception vs. topic incriminating potential in criminal confessions. Law Hum Behav 29(6):683–704. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Deeb H, Vrij A, Hope L, Mann S, Granhag PA, Lancaster GL (2017) Suspects’ consistency in statements concerning two events when different question formats are used. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling 14(1):74–87. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. DePaulo BM, Lindsay JJ, Malone BE, Muhlenbruck L, Charlton K, Cooper H (2003) Cues to deception. Psychol Bull 129(1):74–118. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Ekman P (1985) Telling lies: clues to deceit in the marketplace, politics, and marriage, 1st edn. Norton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  12. Ekman P, Friesen WV, O'Sullivan M (1988) Smiles when lying. J Pers Soc Psychol 54(3):414–420. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ekman P, O'Sullivan M, Friesen WV, Scherer KR (1991) Invited article: face, voice, and body in detecting deceit. J Nonverbal Behav 15(2):125–135. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Frank MG (2009) Thoughts, feelings, and deception. In: Harrington B (ed) Deception: methods, motives, context and consequences. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, pp 55–73Google Scholar
  15. Harley JM, Bouchet F, Azevedo R (2012) Measuring learner’s co-occurring emotional responses during their interaction with a pedagogical agent in MetaTutor. In: Cerri SA, Clancey WJ, Papadourakis G, Panourgia K-K (eds) Intelligent tutoring systems: proceedings of the 11th international conference, ITS 2012, vol 7315. Springer, Crete, pp 40–45. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hartwig M, Granhag PA, Stromwall LA, Vrij A (2005) Detecting deception via strategic disclosure of evidence. Law Hum Behav 29(4):469–484. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartwig M, Granhag PA, Stromwall LA, Kronkvist O (2006) Strategic use of evidence during police interviews: when training to detect deception works. Law Hum Behav 30(5):603–619. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Hirschberg J (2002) Communication and prosody: functional aspects of prosody. Speech Comm 36(1-2):31–43. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hocking JE, Leathers DG (1980) Nonverbal indicators of deception: a new theoretical perspective. Commun Monogr 47(2):119–131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hong Y-Y, Morris M, Chiu C-Y, Benet-Martinez V (2000) Multicultural minds: a dynamic constructivist approach to culture and cognition. Am Psychol 55(7):709–720. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Hurley CM, Frank MG (2011) Executing facial control during deception situations. J Nonverbal Behav 35(2):119–131. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hwang HC, Matsumoto D (2016) Facial expressions. In: Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Frank MG (eds) APA handbook of nonverbal communication. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp 257–287. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hwang HC, Matsumoto D, Sandoval VA (2016) Linguistic cues of deception across multiple language groups in a mock crime context. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling 13(1):56–69. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Johnson MK (1988) Reality monitoring: an experimental phenomenological approach. J Exp Psychol Gen 117(4):390–394. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Johnson MK, Raye CL (1981) Reality monitoring. Psychol Rev 88(1):67–85. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Klaver JR, Lee Z, Hart SD (2007) Psychopathy and nonverbal indicators of deception in offenders. Law Hum Behav 31(4):337–351. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Lambie JA, Marcel AJ (2002) Consciousness and the varieties of emotion experience: a theoretical framework. Psychol Rev 109(2):219–259. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Langner O, Dotsch R, Bijlstra G, Wigboldus DHJ, Hawk ST, van Knippenberg A (2010) Presentation and validation of the Radboud Face Database. Cognit Emot 24(8):1377–1388. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Matsumoto D (1993) Ethnic differences in affect intensity, emotion judgments, display rule attitudes, and self-reported emotional expression in an American sample. Motiv Emot 17(2):107–123. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Matsumoto D, Hwang HC (2015) Differences in word usage by truth tellers and liars in written statements and an investigative interview after a mock crime. J Investig Psychol Offender Profiling 12:199–216. First published online 23 July 2014. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Matsumoto D, Juang LP (2016) Culture and psychology, 6th edn. Cengage, BelmontGoogle Scholar
  32. Matsumoto D, Frank MG, Hwang HS (2013) Nonverbal communication: science and applications. SAGE Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
  33. Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Sandoval VA (2015a) Cross-language applicability of linguistic features associated with veracity and deception. J Police Crim Psychol 30(4):229–241. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Sandoval VA (2015b) Ethnic similarities and differences in linguistic indicators of veracity and lying in a moderately high stakes scenario. J Police Crim Psychol 30(1):15–26. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Frank MG (2016) The body: postures, gait, proxemics, and haptics. In: Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Frank MG (eds) APA handbook of nonverbal communication. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp 387–400. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mehrabian A (1971) Nonverbal betrayal of feeling. J Exp Res Pers 5:64–73Google Scholar
  37. Murphy ST, Zajonc RB (1993) Affect, cognition, and awareness: affective priming with optimal and suboptimal stimulus exposures. J Pers Soc Psychol 64(5):723–739. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Noldus Information Technology (2013) FaceReader 5 (Version 5): Noldus Information Technology. Retrieved from
  39. Reynolds E, Rendle-Short J (2011) Cues to deception in context: response latency/gaps in denials and blame shifting. Br J Soc Psychol 50(3):431–449. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Scott S, McGettigan C (2016) The voice: from identity to interactions. In: Matsumoto D, Hwang HC, Frank MG (eds) APA handbook of nonverbal communication. American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, pp 289–306. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Snyder M (1974) Self-monitoring of expressive behavior. J Pers Soc Psychol 30(4):526–537. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sporer SL, Schwandt B (2006) Paraverbal indicators of deception: a meta-analytic synthesis. Appl Cogn Psychol 20(4):421–446. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sporer SL, Schwandt B (2007) Moderators of nonverbal indicators of deception: a meta-analytic synthesis. Psychol Public Policy Law 13(1):1–34. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Streeter LA, Krauss RM, Geller V, Olson C, Apple W (1977) Pitch changes during attempted deception. J Pers Soc Psychol 35(5):345–350. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Terzis V, Moridis CN, Economides AA (2012) The effect of emotional feedback on behavioral intention to use computer based assessment. Comput Educ 59(2):710–721. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. The Global Deception Research Team (2006) A world of lies. J Cross-Cult Psychol 37(1):60–74. CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  47. Tsai JL, Levenson RW (1997) Cultural influences of emotional responding: Chinese American and European American dating couples during interpersonal conflict. J Cross-Cult Psychol 28(5):600–625. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Tsai JL, Levenson RW, Carstensen LL (2000a) Autonomic, expressive, and subjective responses to emotional films in older and younger Chinese American and European American adults. Psychol Aging 15(4):684–693. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Tsai JL, Ying Y-W, Lee PA (2000b) The meaning of “being Chinese” and “being American”: variation among Chinese-American young adults. J Cross-Cult Psychol 31(3):302–332. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Vrij A (2008) Detecting lies and deceit: pitfalls and opportunities. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  51. Vrij A, Edward K, Roberts KP, Bull R (2000) Detecting deceit via analysis of verbal and nonverbal behavior. J Nonverbal Behav 24(4):239–263. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Vrij A, Mann S, Kristen S, Fisher RP (2007) Cues to deception and ability to detect lies as a function of police interview styles. Law Hum Behav 31(5):499–518. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Vrij A, Leal S, Mann SA, Granhag PA (2011) A comparison between lying about intentions and past activities: verbal cues and detection accuracy. Appl Cogn Psychol 25(2):212–218. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Police and Criminal Psychology 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.HumintellEl CerritoUSA

Personalised recommendations