• High stakes lies: Police and non-police accuracy in detecting deception

      Wright Whelan, Clea; Wagstaff, Graham; Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; University of Chester ; University of Liverpool ; University of Liverpool (Taylor & Francis, 2014-06-26)
      To date, the majority of investigations in to accuracy in detecting deception have used low stakes lies as stimulus materials, and findings from these studies suggest that people are generally poor at detecting deception. The research presented here utilised real life, high stakes lies as stimulus materials, to investigate the accuracy of police and non-police observers in detecting deception. It was hypothesised that both police and non-police observers would achieve above chance levels of accuracy in detecting deception, that police officers would be more accurate at detecting deception than non-police observers, that confidence in veracity judgements would be positively related to accuracy, and that consensus judgements would predict veracity. 107 observers (70 police officers and 37 non-police participants) watched 36 videos of people lying or telling the truth in an extremely high stakes, real life situation. Police observers achieved mean accuracy in detecting deception of 72%, non-police observers achieved 68% mean accuracy, and confidence in veracity judgements were positively related to accuracy. Consensus judgements correctly predicted veracity in 92% of cases.
    • High-stakes lies: Verbal and nonverbal cues to deception in public appeals for help with missing or murdered relatives

      Wright Whelan, Clea; Wagstaff, Graham; Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; University of Liverpool (Taylor & Francis, 2013-09-23)
      Low ecological validity is a common limitation in deception studies. The present study investigated the real life, high stake context of public appeals for help with missing or murdered relatives. Behaviours which discriminated between honest and deceptive appeals included some previously identified in research on high stakes lies (deceptive appeals contained more equivocal language, gaze aversion, head shaking, and speech errors), and a number of previously unidentified behaviours (honest appeals contained more references to norms of emotion/behaviour, more expressions of hope of finding the missing relative alive, more expressions of positive emotion towards the relative, more expressions of concern/pain, and an avoidance of brutal language). Case by case analyses yielded 78% correct classifications. Implications are discussed with reference to the importance of using ecologically valid data in deception studies, the context specific nature of some deceptive behaviours, and social interactionist, and individual behavioural profile, accounts of cues to deception.
    • Police officers’ beliefs about, and use of, cues to deception

      Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; Wright Whelan, Clea; University of Chester; University of Manchester (Wiley, 2017-03-26)
      Meta-analytic findings indicate that people, including police officers, are generally poor at detecting low-stakes deception. Related to this, investigations of behaviours that people reportedly use to make truth/lie judgements tend to conclude that people rely on incorrect stereotypes. However, consistent findings suggest that police officers are able to detect high-stakes deception; this implies that, at least in some contexts, police officers utilise reliable cues to deception. The research presented here was an investigation of cues to deception used by police officers (N = 69), when making veracity decisions about real world, high stakes communications. Data were collected on both free report cues, and also prescribed cues that were known (from previous research), to discriminate between liars and truth-tellers in the communications that the police officers observed. Officers free reported using cues related to verbal content, emotion, body language, eyes, vocal cues, and external cues. Most prescribed cues were self-reportedly used correctly by large majorities of the officers, suggesting that they may not rely on inaccurate stereotypes. Self-report use of categories of free report cues, and prescribed cues, was not related to accuracy in detecting deception. As people may not always be aware of the behaviours on which their judgements are based, the relationships between some of the behaviours actually displayed in the communications, and group accuracy in detecting deception in those communications, were also investigated. Group accuracy was related to the presence of subjective, emotion-related cues in the communications.
    • Subjective cues to deception/honesty in a high stakes situation: An exploratory approach

      Wright Whelan, Clea; Wagstaff, Graham; Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M.; University of Chester ; University of Liverpool ; University of Liverpool (Taylor & Francis, 2014-05-07)
      The low ecological validity of much of the research on deception detection is a limitation recognised by researchers in the field. Consequently, the present studies investigated subjective cues to deception using the real life, high stakes situation of people making public appeals for help with missing or murdered relatives. It was expected that cues related to affect would be particularly salient in this context. Study 1 was a qualitative investigation identifying cues to deception reportedly used by people accurate at detecting deception. Studies 2 and 3 were then empirical investigations which mainly employed the cues reported in Study 1. A number of subjective cues were found to discriminate between honest and deceptive appeals, including some previously unidentified cues, and cues likely to be context-specific. Most could be categorised under the themes of authenticity of emotion, and negative and positive affective reactions to the appealer. It is concluded that some cues to deception may emerge only in real life, high stakes situations; however, it is argued that some of these may be influenced by observers’ perceptions of the characteristics of offenders, rather than acts of deception per se.