Lie Detection essay

Topics: Nonverbal communication, Lie, Psychology Pages: 9 (2898 words) Published: March 26, 2014

Should Lie Detection be Admissible in Court?
A Review of Literature


Typical deceptive behavior does not exist and there are no perfect methods for deception using Behavioural or content analysis indicators. This report aims at critically evaluating psychological research on Lie Detection procedures. The report focuses on Behavioural indicators of deception with explicit reference to Ekman’s Emotion Theory (1992) and the common verbal and non-verbal cues to deception. The report goes on to describe Content Analysis techniques with direct reference to Criterion-Based Assessment (CBA) and Statement Validity Analysis (SVA) and their success rates as Lie Detection methods. The report outlines many studies that examine the success and failure rate of these verbal, non-verbal and Content Analysis techniques. Finally a critical review of the psychological research is made and it is concluded that from empirical research, the CBCA, SVA and Behavioural indicators of deception are not accurate enough to be admissible in court and that the current legislation should remain the same.

Should Lie Detection be Admissable in Court?

Unlike Pinocchio and his growing nose, liars do not seem to show any indicative signs of deception. It is hardly surprising that deception is difficult to detect, the intention of lies is to mislead after all. According to Virj (2000) the definition of Deception is “A successful deliberate attempt, without forewarning to create in another a belief which the communicator considers to be untrue” (p.6). In critically examining the existing research, it is clear that there are in fact three different ways to out smart a liar. Firstly by observing their verbal and non-verbal behavior, secondly by analyzing the content of what they are saying and thirdly by examining their physiological responses. All of these methods are currently inadmissible in court, however due to the current revision in this ruling which is still awaiting decision, this report aims to outline why the first two methods i.e observing their verbal and nonverbal behavior and analyzing the content of what they are saying are in fact not effective enough to be admissible in court. An infallible lie detection strategy would most certainly solve much of the criminal justice systems and psychologists’ problems in trying to identify deception within criminals. However at this point in time this is impossibility. This report will aim at outlining some effective approaches of differentiating truth from deception. It is clear that psychological research has provided huge insight into the area of lie detection and deception and have identified some extremely effective methods to aid the process of detecting lies within criminals, however these methods are not 100% accurate but may aid in the investigating process. It is a known phenomenon that even the most professional of groups, including psychologists and police officers, are no better at determining the credibility of an individual than an average member of the public (Ekman, 1992, 1996). Garrido and Masip (1999) examined police officers and their ability to detect liars, results indicated that experienced police officers are no better than new recruits or the general public at detecting lies and that confidence about their ability to detect lies has no correlation to their actual lie detecting ability.

Behavioural Indicators of Deception: Some Verbal and Non-Verbal cues to Lying

There is no concrete way of determining the difference between truth and deception, however in light of new research this notion may be starting to change. So why are we having such trouble in detecting liars? Again there is no definite answer to this question however it could be because we are mistaken in our ideas of the cues of deception. Cues of deception will be discussed thoroughly in this report. Firstly, Behavioural indicators of deception...

References: DePaulo, B. M., Lindsay, J. J., Malone, B. E., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., & Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 74-118.
Ekman, P. (1992). Telling Lies: Clues to deceit in the marketplace, marriage, and politice (2nd ed.). New York: Norton.
Ekman, P. (1996)
Why don’t we catch liars?
Garrido, E, & Massip, J. (1999(. How good are police officers at spotting lies? Forensic Update, 50.
Masip, J., & Garrido, E
Porter, S., & Yuille, J. C. (1996). The language of deceit: an investigation of the verbal clues in the interrogation context. Law and Human Behavior, 20, 443.
Sporer, S., & Schwandt, B. (2006). Paraverbal indicators of deception: A meta-analytic synthesis. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 421–466.
Sporer, S. L., & Schwandt, B. (2007). Moderators of nonverbal indicators of deception: A meta-analytic synthesis. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 13, 1-34.
Vrij, A. (2000). Detecting lies and deceit. The psychology of lying and the implications for professional practice. Chichester: Wiley
Vrij, A
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