“... and Nothing but the Truth”

How Well Can Observers Detect Deceptive Testimony?
  • Gerald R. Miller
  • Joyce E. Bauchner
  • John E. Hocking
  • Norman E. Fontes
  • Edmund P. Kaminski
  • David R. Brandt
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 2)


Issues regarding witness credibility are a crucial aspect of most, if not all, courtroom trials. Since factual information and evidence are necessarily incomplete and contradictory, “those charged with decision-making, whether they may be judges or jurors, must not only weigh the information and evidence, but must also evaluate the veracity of the opposing evidential and informational sources” (Miller & Boster, 1977, p. 28). Sometimes assessments of credibility can be made by comparing a witness’s testimony with that of other witnesses; for example, if six people observe a crime, and five of the six identify the defendant as the culprit while the sixth does not, then unless there are strong grounds for doubting the veracity of the five consistent witnesses, the sixth witness’s testimony will typically be discounted as stemming from error or even deliberate distortion. On other occasions, credibility judgments may hinge on extrinsic factors associated with the witness; for example, if it can be shown that a witness’s testimony is self-serving, then it is likely to be viewed more skeptically than testimony free of self-serving motives, or particularly, testimony diametrically opposed to the witness’s self-interest.


Accuracy Score Nonverbal Behavior Total Information Nonverbal Information Credibility Judgment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald R. Miller
    • 1
  • Joyce E. Bauchner
    • 2
  • John E. Hocking
    • 3
  • Norman E. Fontes
    • 1
  • Edmund P. Kaminski
    • 4
  • David R. Brandt
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.The NetworkAndoverUSA
  3. 3.Department of Speech CommunicationUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  4. 4.Department of Speech CommunicationUniversity of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA
  5. 5.Department of CommunicationRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteTroyUSA

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