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lie detection, human lie, mentalist


  • DECEPTION & DECEPTION DETECTION Deceiving others is an essential part of everyday social interaction (Aldert Vrij, 2000)Deception quiz

  • liar, liar pants on fire?Were these famous (or infamous) figures lying or telling the truth?

  • lying is commonDePaulo & Kashy (1998): the average person lied to 34% of the people with whom she/he interacted in a typical week.Hample (1980) respondents reported lying an avg. of 13 times per week.DePaulo & Bell (1996) Married couples lied in 1 out of 10 interactions with their partners.DePaulo & Kashy (1988): college students lied to their mothers in half of their conversationsRobinson, Shepherd, & Heywood (1998): 83% of respondents said they would lie in order to get a job.

    Hmmwhat if the people surveyed in these studies were lying?Bill Clinton, I never had sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky, and I never, ever told anyone to lie.

  • why lie? motivations for lyingLie to benefit anotherLie for affiliationLie to protect privacyLie to avoid conflictLie to appear better (self promotion)Lie to protect selfLie to benefit selfLie to harm another (malicious intent)Lie for amusement (duping delight)

  • Donald Rumsfeld caught in a lie

  • common misconceptionsabout lyingNo single, typical pattern of deceptive behavior exists (Vrij, 2000)

    Example: 64% of liars in one study showed a decrease in hand finger and arm movements35% of liars showed an increase in the same movementsObservers rely on false signs:

    Response latency: taking longer to answerEye contact: providing less eye contactPostural shifting: squirming, body movementAll three are unreliable indicators of deception

  • more on misconceptionsLiars dont necessarily look up and to the leftNo proof that gaze is tied to neuro-linguistic processing

    To date, evidence that eye movements indicate deception is lacking. Even those authors who suggested this relationship exists never presented any data supporting their view (Vrij, 2000, p. 38)

  • conceptualizations of deceptiontwo category approach

    white lies (benefit other)blatant lies (self-interest)three category approach

    falsification (outright falsehoods) misrepresentation (distortion, exaggeration)concealment (omission, suppression)Was Saddam Hussein too good at bluffing for his own good? He convinced the Bush administration that he really did have WMDs

  • lying is a form ofcompliance gainingdeceptive communication is intentionaldeceptive communication seeks a specific effect or outcomedeception (if its successful) occurs without the conscious awareness of the targetdeception involves two or more persons

    except for self-deception or being in denialdeception relies on symbolic and nonsymbolic behavior (e.g., nonverbal cues)

  • people, in general, arepoor lie detectors

    People fare only slightly better than a coin toss at detecting deceptionIn general, people are much better at lying than detecting lies (Vrij, 2000).Bond & DePaulo (in press) a recent meta-analysis of 253 studies on deception revealed overall accuracy was approximately 53 percent2/3rds of all people score between 50-59% in deception accuracy

    Dr. Paul Ekman, one of the foremost experts on deception detection

  • how good are so-called experts at deception detection?Police officers and other law enforcement personnel believe they are adept at deception detectionThey often claim they can spot a liar based on nonverbal cues

    HoweverEkman tested so-called experts, e.g., police, trial judges, psychiatrists, and the people who carry out lie detector tests.

    Most scored no better than chance.Clinical psychologists: 67.5% accuracyL.A. county sheriffs: 66.7% accuracySecret service agents: 73-80% accuracySecret service agents were best at detecting lies

  • the truth biasResearch has repeatedly shown that people enter interactions with preconceived expectations for truthfulness (Burgoon, 2005)(Levine, Park, & McCornack (1999) found that people are slightly better at detecting the truth, and slightly worse at detecting lieson average participants were able to detect a lie 44 percent of the time, and able to detect the truth 67 percent of the time.In everyday encounters, liars were only detected 15% of the time (Vrij, 2000).

  • a prototypical study on deceptionEkman & Friesen (1974) conducted a study in which:

    some subjects watched only the liars headssome subjects watched only the liars bodiesresults: subjects who watched only the liars bodies were more accurate in detecting deception.

  • Information Manipulation Theory McCornack et al (1992) developed IMTaccording to IMT, deception can be accomplished by varying the:

    amount of informationveracity of informationrelevance of informationclarity of information

  • Four-Factor Model of deceptionZuckerman et al (1981, 1985)Arousal: lying increases arousalpsychological and physical arousalpupil dilation, blink rate, speech errors, etc. Attempted Control: liars try to control cue leakagesending capacity hypothesis (Ekman & Friesen, 1969; 1974)liars find it easier to control their facecue leakage occurs in the body, extremitiescue leakage occurs in the voiceEmotion: lying evokes negative affectlying triggers negative emotions like guilt, fear, anxietyThinking: lying requires more cognitive effortlying usually requires more cognitive energy; formulating the lie, remembering the lie, making answers consistent

  • Interpersonal Deception TheoryBuller & Burgoon (1994) developed IDPstrategic behaviors (intentional behaviors and plans)uncertainty and vagueness (few, sketchy details)nonimmediacy, reticence, withdrawal (psychological distance, disinterest, aloofness)dissociation (distance self from message, fewer I or me statements)image and relationship protecting behavior (smiling, nodding)nonstrategic leakage (unintentional leakage)arousal and nervousnessnegative affectincompetent communication performance

  • motivational impairment effectDePaulo & Kirkendol (1989) developed the MIELiars tend to over-control their nonverbal behaviorLiars are more rigid, exhibit less body movement

    deception is often associated with less finger, hand, lower limb movementsLiars do this because they think that nervousness, fidgeting, shifting will be perceived as deceptionLiars do this because they are concentrating on other channels and cant devote attention to their movements

  • lying as a communication skillCamden, Motley, & Wilson (1984) say deception is a form of communication competence.A study by Feldman looked at the nonverbal behavior of 32 young people ages 11 to 16.Teens were rated on their social skills and overall popularity.Teens were then videotaped both lying and telling the truth about whether they liked a drink they were given.58 college students were asked to watch the videotapes and judge how much each teenager really liked the drink.The socially adept teens were the best deceivers for all age groups. Both groups got better at lying as they got older.Possibly thanks to stronger nonverbal skills, girls were better at lying than boys.

  • characteristics of successful deceivershigh Machiavellians: are more manipulative, experience less guilt about lyinghigh self monitors: are more socially adroit and therefore better at lying .good actors: some people have better acting skills than others, are better able to regulate their verbal and nonverbal cuesMotivation: high stakes lies are easier to detect, low stakes lies are harder to spotgender differences: have revealed mixed results

    females sometimes focus on misleading nonverbal cues (eyes, face)women may possess a stronger truth biasindividual differences tend to swamp gender differences

  • characteristics of successfullie detectorsThey dont concentrate on the face

    They focus on vocal factorsThey focus on the content or substance of the statementThey focus on the body, extremities, looking for over-controlThey look/listen for non-immediacy, reticence, withdrawal, disassociationObservers or 3rd parties are better at spotting deception than participants

  • false correlates of deceptioneye contactsmilinghead movementsgestures

    postural shiftingresponse latency (for rehearsed lies)speech rate

  • reliable* correlates of deceptionmore fidgetinggreater pupil dilation (5)higher blink rate (8)pressing lips togethermore shrugs (4)more adaptors (14)shorter response length, fewer details (17)greater lack of immediacy (2)raising chin

    more speech errors (12)more speech hesitations (11)less pitch variation(4)more negative statements (5)more irrelevant statements (6)fewer first person pronounsfewer admissions of lack of memoryfewer spontaneous corrections

    *note: there are no foolproof ways to detect deceptionnumbers in parentheses indicate how many studies found a positive correlation with that particular nonverbal cue

  • In which picture is the female genuinely happy?ABCD

  • generalizations: advice youcan take to the bankresearch consistently demonstrates that people are generally unable to detect deception (Miller & Stiff, 1993)

    40-70% accuracy veracity judgments tend to be based on the wrong criteria (Stiff, 1995)to detect deception, dont look at the faceno single indicator proves truth or guilt: use clusters of indicators, both verbal & nonverbal.individual differences in deception ability and deception detection ability are more important than generic factors