Clusters of Nonverbal Behaviors Differ According to Type of Question and Veracity in Investigative Interviews in a Mock Crime Context
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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.
KeywordsDeception 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.
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 was obtained from all individual participants in the study.
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