PSYCH 3CC3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: United States Secret Service, Lie Detection, Fidgeting

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Detecting Deception
Lecture 3
US secret service, FBI, judges, police, psychiatrists, university students, and adults taking
one-day course on deceit asked to judge whether someone was telling truth/lying about
their reactions to videos. Also asked to rate their confidence in general lie-detection
ability
o Only US secret service agents judged better than chance and other groups (64%
accuracy this is still bad b/c there’s 36% error and we only accept <5%)
o Accuracy uncorrelated w/ self-rating of confidence, except for deceit group
o Shortcomings: earlier studies found no evidence that “experts” better at lie
detection than students. Forensic relevance unclear forensic lies are not about
currently felt emotions, people will lie about context of crime
We have higher lie accuracy (saying something is a lie) than truth accuracy. More likely
to say something is a lie rather than true. This is especially true for officers w/ more
experience
o More likely to call a truth-teller a liar, than to call a liar a truth-teller
Meta-analysis combines the data of multiple studies and re-analyzes them
Truth Bias calling more statements as true than as false b/c we tend to believe in the
good of people. Judges have truth bias
Higher stake lies (more negative consequences) = more likely to be detected in their lie.
Motivation makes liars easier to detect
Facial/body cues to deception that aren’t reliable: avoiding eye contact, more
smiling/laughter, high rate of eye blinking, nervous fidgeting, more illustrative gestures,
more body/head movements, more shrugging
Cues that may be related to deception: less forthcoming & say less, tell less compelling
stories, leave a negative impression, more tense (but don’t fidget), fewer
imperfections/mistakes, contains fewer unusual content
o Experienced more cognitive load (have to use more mental energy while lying;
can’t do other things simultaneously), expressed more negative emotion,
distanced themselves from event, used fewer sensory-perceptual words (see,
touch, hear), referred less to cognitive processes (what they believed), expressed
same amount of certainty as truth-tellers “believe me, I am telling the truth”
Language of Deception:
o Low verbal immediacy verbal immediacy is tendency to use present tense to
describe past events as if it’s happening right now. Liars use past tense & passive
voice “it happened” rather than “I did this”. Distances themselves from the event
o Fewer details in story there will also be fewer unusual details
o Impression of verbal uncertainty
o Impression of nervousness no indication where it comes from, just a gut feeling
o Lack of logical structure/plausibility in story story doesn’t make sense &
doesn’t follow a structure, things they say happened are usually unlikely to
happen (but still possible)
o Raised pitch of voice liars talk in a higher pitch but this differs by individuals.
Unreliable in forensic context
Word Usage/Grammar and Deception
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Document Summary

Lecture 3: us secret service, fbi, judges, police, psychiatrists, university students, and adults taking one-day course on deceit asked to judge whether someone was telling truth/lying about their reactions to videos. Forensic relevance unclear forensic lies are not about currently felt emotions, people will lie about context of crime: we have higher lie accuracy (saying something is a lie) than truth accuracy. More likely to say something is a lie rather than true. Judges have truth bias: higher stake lies (more negative consequences) = more likely to be detected in their lie. Liars use past tense & passive voice it happened rather than i did this . People often lie about these questions, so this is compared to relevant questions. Innocent people have higher arousal to control q"s while guilty suspects have higher arousal to relevant q"s: procedure, pre-test explain process and hook them up to the machine.

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