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Subjective cues to deception/honesty in a high stakes situation: An exploratory approachThe 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.