Law and Human Behavior

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 365–376 | Cite as

Suspects, Lies, and Videotape: An Analysis of Authentic High-Stake Liars

  • Samantha Mann
  • Aldert Vrij
  • Ray Bull


This study is one of the very few, and the most extensive to date, which has examined deceptive behavior in a real-life, high-stakes setting. The behavior of 16 suspects in their police interviews has been analyzed. Clips of video footage have been selected where other sources (reliable witness statements and forensic evidence) provide evidence that the suspect lied or told the truth. Truthful and deceptive behaviors were compared. The suspects blinked less frequently and made longer pauses during deceptive clips than during truthful clips. Eye contact was maintained equally for deceptive and truthful clips. These findings negate the popular belief amongst both laypersons and professional lie detectors (such as the police) that liars behave nervously by fidgeting and avoiding eye contact. However, large individual differences were present.

deceptive behavior real-life high-stake lies suspect interviews 


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Copyright information

© American Psychology-Law Society/Division 41 of the American Psychology Association 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha Mann
    • 1
  • Aldert Vrij
    • 1
  • Ray Bull
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of PortsmouthPortsmouth, HantsUnited Kingdom

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