Detecting Deception: Studying the Cues People Use to Distinguish Between Truth Tellers and Liars Amber Schramm Emily Stark, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor Minnesota State University, MankatoDepartment of Psychology Discussion Were participants accurate at detecting deception overall? No, participants were consistent with previous research in that they averaged at about chance level (55%) in accuracy. Did participants who relied more on intuition make more accurate judgments? No, participants who scored higher on the intuition scale did not detect deception more accurately than those who scored lower on the intuition scale. There was no correlation between accuracy in deception detection and reliance on intuition via the intuition scale. This is not consistent with previous research which states that using that gut feeling (intuition) can significantly increase participants’ lie detection performance. Did those who were more accurate at lie detection notice different deception cues than those less accurate? People who were more accurate at lie detection noticed more content related cues. This is interesting given the past research stating that content may be a good indicator of deception(Elaad, 2009). Overall, participants did not attend to verbal tone cues. Verbal tone has been recognized by previous research as being a more effective deception indicator (Elaad, 2009). Participants in both groups of accuracy paid attention to nonverbal cues, recognized as more ineffective in deception detection. There was no difference in accuracy for those who paid attention to such cues. Limitations Coding is still in progress, current sample is small. No single cue has been proven to accurately detect deception with 100% accuracy. Future Directions Instead of prerecorded videos, actively engage the participant with the story teller. Instruct participants to attend to specific cues and/or intuition. Examine other coding categories Results Background Have you ever suspected that someone is lying, without being sure how you knew? Previous research by Albrechtsen, Meissner, & Susa (2009) suggests that lie detection performance can be significantly improved when using intuitive processing. However, people are not very accurate at lie detection in general- usually averaging around 50% accuracy. This is even true for trained lie detectors and investigators (Vrij, Fisher, Mann, & Leal, 2010). Research has also suggested that participants may be able to use that intuitive processing (gut feeling) to implicitly identify liars—that even if they are not accurately detecting deception, their use of certain cues or ratings may still show evidence of discrimination between lying and truth-telling (DePaulo et al., 2003; Anderson et al., 1999). A study done by Elaad (2009) illustrates a few cues that have been shown to be related to deception. The amount of negative statements in a deceptive story has been shown to be higher than non-deceptive stories as well as make fewer descriptive illustrations. Liars also tend to speak in a higher pitched voice than when telling a true story. Conversley, DePaulo et al. (2003) conducted a meta-analysis of lie detection research, and found no association between gaze aversion, pausing, or fidgeting, and whether the person was lying or telling the truth. The current study works to replicate previous findings along with learning more about what types of cues influence participants’ judgments of lies and truths and their ratings of liars and truth-tellers • Methodology • N= 71 MSU College Student Participants, 82% female • Participants were recruited using SONA Systems website, utilized by the Psychology Department to recruit research participants in return for extra credit. • Independent Variables • Lie or Truth Story • Measures • Accuracy of Deception Detection • Level of Intuitive Processing • Types of Cues Being Attended To • Participants were asked to indicate their overall ability to detect lies. Participants then viewed 16 video clips, some truths and some lies. After viewing each clip, participants were asked to determine whether the video clip was a truth or a lie. Participants were also asked to write down any deception cues they noticed that helped them make their decision. Following the video clips, participants responded to a scale measuring the extent to which they rely on intuition (Epstein et al., 1996) when making judgments as well as demographic questions.. • A subset of participants’ responses (N = 25) was coded using the coding scheme developed by the poster author. • Were participants accurate at detecting deception overall? • No, participants scored 55% on average, no different from chance levels. The black line indicates a chance level of responding. • Did participants who relied more on intuition make more accurate judgments? • No, there was no correlation between accuracy and reliance on intuition (r = -.05, p < .7). • Did those who were more accurate at lie detection notice different deception cues than those less accurate? • More accurate participants mentioned more cues related to verbal content. Participants did not pay attention to cues previously recognized as more effective deception indicators such as verbal tone. Overall, participants paid attention to cues previously recognized as more ineffective deception indicators such as nonverbal cues. Current Study . The methodology used in data collection sets the this study apart from previous research. Research on intuitive lie detection has not yet incorporated open-ended measures to determine what cues participants are noticing, or even if participants are able to consciously pay attention to the correct cues to detect lies. Participants open ended answers were coded into 6 different categories: Non-verbal, Verbal Overall Tone, Verbal Story Content, Verbal Delivery, Emotion, and Other. Hypothesis 1: Overall accuracy for lie detection will not be significant. Hypothesis 2: Those who are more accurate in lie detection will rely more on intuition when making judgments. Hypothesis 3: Those who are more accurate in lie detection will notice different types of cues than those less accurate. • Examples • Within the 6 categories, there were many different sub categories of cues participants were attending to. Some specific cues participants attended to include (but not limited to): • Hand Movements • Fidgeting • Gaze Aversion (Specific Direction) • Sincere/ Insincere Tone • Numerous/ Few Details • Consistent/ Inconsistent Details • Story “sounded real”/ “unrealistic” • Stammering • Fast/ Slow Delivery • Nervous Delivery • Example Responses: • “She seemed a little timid while telling the story. Looked around a lot, used hand gestures, got quiet a lot.” • “She paused a lot, seemed emotional, realistic.” • “Eyebrows raise up, looks to the left, and accentuates certain words.” • “Plain, boring, not very detailed story. He had good eye contact.” Acknowledgements I would like to thank the Undergraduate Research Center for contributing a grant for research and travel costs For more information contact Amber Schramm at email@example.com References Albrechtsen, J.S., Meissner, C.A., & Susa, K.J. (2009). Can intuition improve deception-detection performance? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45, 1052-1055. Anderson, D.E., DePaulo, B.M., Ansfield, M.E., Tickle, J.T., & Green, E. (1999). Beliefs about cues to deception: Mindless stereotypes or untapped wisdom? Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 23(1), 67-89. Elaad, E. (2009). Lie detection biases among male police interrogators, prisoners, and laypersons. Psychological Reports, 105(3), 1047-1056. DePaulo, B.M., Lindsay, J.J., Malone, B.E., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., & Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 74-118. Vrij, A., Fisher, R.P., Mann, S., & Leal, S. (2010). Lie detection: Pitfalls and opportunities. In Lassiter, G.D. & Meissner, C.A. (Eds.), Police Interrogations and False Confessions: Current Research, Practice, and Policy Recommendations (pp. 97-110). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.