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Finding the Truth in the CourtroomDealing with Deception, Lies, and Memories$
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Henry Otgaar and Mark L. Howe

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190612016

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190612016.001.0001

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Nonverbal Detection of Deception

Nonverbal Detection of Deception

(p.163) 8 Nonverbal Detection of Deception
Finding the Truth in the Courtroom

Aldert Vrij

Oxford University Press

Throughout history it has been assumed that lying is accompanied by specific nonverbal behaviors; various sources still claim that nonverbal behavior is very revealing about deception. Systematic research, however, examining nonverbal cues to deceit has shown that nonverbal cues to deceit are faint and unreliable. This chapter starts with discussing under which circumstances people pay attention to nonverbal behavior and provides reasons why they do so. This is followed by a theoretical background of nonverbal cues to deception and discussions of the (weak) empirical evidence about (1) the relationship between nonverbal cues and deception, including the empirical evidence regarding the Behavior Analysis Interview and Ekman’s approach of observing facial expressions, and (2) people’s (poor) ability to detect deceit when paying attention to nonverbal behavior. Despite the popularity of observing nonverbal behavior to detect deception, analyzing speech content provides more accurate results, particularly when specific interview protocols are used.

Keywords:   nonverbal cues to deception, nonverbal lie detection, Behavior Analysis Interview, facial expressions of emotions; Zuckerman, DePaulo, and Rosenthal’s Multifactor Model, DePaulo’s Self-Presentational Perspective, Buller and Burgoon’s Interpersonal Deception Theory

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