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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 Matsumoto
  • Hyisung C. Hwang
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Deception Nonverbal behavior Facial expressions Voice Gestures Truthfulness 

Notes

Funding

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.

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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

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