How to catch a liar: The Effect of Communicative Channels on Accuracy in Detecting Deception in High-Stakes Situations
AbstractMuch past research states people are generally quite poor at detecting deception, with meta-analytic findings reporting an average accuracy rating of 54% (Bond & DePaulo, 2006). However, the majority of these previous findings stem from the use of ‘low-stakes’ lies as stimuli. This current study used real-life video clips of a ‘high-stakes’ nature, investigating the effects of three different communicative channels on a novice lie detector’s ability to detect deception; an Audio-Visual channel, a Visual-Only channel and an Audio-Only channel. The effects on both participant accuracy and participant confidence scores were analysed, with further investigation into a potential relationship between participant accuracy and confidence. On reviewing previous literature, the current study hypothesized the following; participant accuracy in detecting deception across all modalities will score above the level of chance; the highest accuracy scores will be found within the Audio-Visual condition; the Audio-Only condition will produce higher levels of accuracy than those found in the Visual-Only condition; the Audio-Visual condition will produce the highest confidence ratings; no relationship will be found between overall levels of accuracy and confidence ratings reported. The current study also explored what behavioural cues are relied upon by novice lie detectors in their attempts to identify deception. No hypothesis was generated for the justification of decisions i.e. (the cues participants report using). However, information provided will help identify what behavioural cues members of the general public rely upon when detecting deception. A total of 60 participants were recruited for the current study, with an equal number of participants observing video-clips within each presentation modality (n=20). 8 video-clips were shown, all involving real-life ‘high-stakes’ situations i.e. an appeal for a missing relative. Half of the clips involved innocent individuals (telling the truth and not involved in the crime) and the other half were deceitful (involved in the crime and attempting to deceive observers). Overall, participant accuracy scored significantly above the level of chance (M=55, t(59)=2, p=0.05.). No statistically significant differences were found in participant accuracy and participant confidence between the three presentation modalities F(2,57)=.36, p=.70, n2=0.01; F(2, 57)=.58, p=.84, n2=0.02. Nor was a significant relationship observed between participant accuracy and participant confidence r(60)=.11, p=.43. Participants reported relying on behavioural cues involving ‘Nervous Behaviours’ and ‘Fake Emotion’ when determining a sender’s veracity. Implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.
CitationMurphy, M. (2018). How to catch a liar: The Effect of Communicative Channels on Accuracy in Detecting Deception in High-Stakes Situations (Master's Thesis). University of Chester, United Kingdom.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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