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Title: Factors affecting accuracy of detecting deception in experts and lay people
Author: Taylor, Rachel Janet
Awarding Body: University of Manchester : University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2001
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Previous research on the detection of deception has found that experts are generally no more accurate than students or laypeople at detecting deception. Beliefs about the cues to deception generally reflect the emotional hypothesis of deception; i.e. liars are expected to behave nervously. In order to further explore these issues, studies were conducted that reflected three themes. Firstly factors that might affect beliefs about the cues to deception were considered, specifically the roles of stakes and cognitive complexity. A questionnaire was administered to both police officers and students, this asked about believed cues to deception in a specific situation. Stakes were found to affect beliefs about the cues to deception, with high-stake lies believed to be accompanied by "credibility-enhancing" or "credibility-protecting" verbal devices, such as not admitting lack of memory or spontaneously correcting the account. High-stake lies were therefore considered to be attempts to "sell" the deception to the target. The second theme for the research was to explore the relationship between beliefs about the cues to deception and accuracy of detecting deception. This was explored in two studies that each comprised a questionnaire about believed cues to deception and a judgement task. The first study examined the relationship between accuracy of these beliefs and accuracy of detecting deception, however no relationship was found. The second study considered relationships between individual cues and accuracy as well as groups of believed cues and accuracy. No relationships were found at either level. Results were discussed in terms of automaticity of lie detection, with lie detection being considered in a framework of skill acquisition. The final theme of the thesis was that of other factors that could influence accurate detection. Three areas were also explored here - confidence, deception type and interaction. Confidence was not found to relate to accuracy, a finding that was consistent with the previous literature on non-experts, although not with experts where a negative correlation would be predicted. This suggested that expertise may not be a sufficient moderator of this relationship and that some types of training and expertise may be more effective at increasing confidence than others. Differences in accuracy were found according to deception type, with those conditions that could be considered directly familiar being more accurately detected. In the interactive experiments, deception was found to be associated with increased cognitive load, although this finding only applied to verbal behaviours. However, no differences were found between interviewers and judges in terms of accuracy, suggesting that any benefits of being able to ask questions, clarify points and probe inconsistencies might have been outweighed by the cognitive demands imposed on inexperienced interviewers. In the discussion of the thesis, some training implications arising from the research were outlined. These included extensive interviewer training to minimise cognitive load associated with asking questions, accompanied by devices to maximise cognitive load on interviewees and an avoidance of schematic processing of verbal and non-verbal cues.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available