Last Updated 20 Apr 2022

Detecting Deception

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Deception, in another word – Lying, may lead to a serious aftermath in the enforcement of law and the proceedings in the courtroom. Hence, much effort is devoted by the forensic psychologists in developing different techniques and methods to detect lies. According to DePaulo et al. , deception is defined as a deliberate attempt to mislead others. But to no avail, research have shown that majority, including law enforcers do not have a chance levels in deception detection just by using intuition only.

A study by Ekman & O’Sullivan (1991) about the law enforcement officials have concluded that most of them have failed to attain above chance levels. On a contrary, there are studies showing that certain lie catchers such as experts in psychology field has the ability to perform above the accuracy of chance in the detection of deception (Ekman, O'Sullivan & Frank, 1999). This in turn is also said to be influenced when experts has experience in interrogating liars, making them more confident in detecting deception.

Besides, in the same study, it is said that men is better at detecting deception over women (Mann, S. , Vrij, A. , & Bull, R. , 2004). The study by Mann et al. is of a high stake lies scenario which is also the main strength that differentiates them from previous studies. The judges were unable to perform better than is expected due to the exposure of a videotaped scenario. The limitation of the studies was that the duration of the fragments is too shot where lengthy ones may be more desirable.

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These challenges do not stop researchers to find ways to overcome the difficulties in detecting deception accurately. Hence, researchers divert their focus in examining the best cues that can be used to determine deception. For instance, polygraph has been the most popular method used in detection deception. The application is so far said to be the most successful because it is based on many different measurements in the aspect of psychophysiological that includes respiration, heart rate, blood pressure, and electrodermal response.

Via this measurement, an autonomic arousal pattern can be obtained which is the core in detecting deception. The aim of this experiment is to indicate ways in the detection of truth and deception and how it affects the judging of deception. We predict that people’s accuracy in detecting truth or deception will be best in the audio non-verbal cues condition (eyes covered), worst in the visual non-verbal cues condition (ears covered) and intermediate in the visual+audio non-verbal cues condition.

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