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Who killed my relative? Police officers' ability to detect real-Life high stakes lies

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Abstract

The present experiment examined the ability of fifty-two uniformed police officers to detect deception. The experiment differed from previous experiments into detecting deceit because of its high stake lies scenario. The judges were exposed to videotaped press conferences of people who were asking the general public for help in finding their relatives or the murderers of their relatives. They all lied during these press conferences and they all have been found guilty of killing their own relatives. The judges did not perform better than could be expected by chance. Additional analyses showed that accuracy was unrelated to confidence, age, years of job experience in the police force, or level of experience in interviewing suspects. There was, however, a significant positive correlation between having experience in interviewing suspects and being confident in detecting deception. Finally, men were better at detecting deception than women.
... raise their arm, tilt their head and stare) were judged more dishonest than people who did not show this behaviour (Bond et al., 1992). Also, the more police officers reported to rely on nonverbal cues, the less accurate they were when detecting deceit (Porter, McCabe, Woodworth, & Peace, 2007;Vrij & Mann, 2001). Furthermore, Wachi et al. (2017) showed that interviewers who correctly classified guilty participants, were less likely to report having relied on nonverbal cues. ...
... Furthermore, the cue availability assumption might also explain why high-stake lies are sometimes more accurately detected than low-stake lies (Mann, Vrij, & Bull, 2002Vrij & Mann, 2001;Wachi et al., 2017;Wright Whelan, Wagstaff, & Wheatcroft, 2014, 2015; but see Hartwig & Bond, 2014). Increasing the stakes might intensify the production of cues to deception, causing liars to exhibit more noticeable/useful cues as a result of increased feelings of fear, guilt and cognitive load (Mann et al., 2004;Vrij, 2008;Vrij, Mann, Robbins, & Robinson, 2006;Wright Whelan et al., 2015). ...
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To what extent stereotypical deceptive behaviours such as gaze aversion and fidgeting actually influence people's credibility judgements remain largely unknown. In this study, we directly manipulated the presence/absence of such behaviours to investigate this. Participants were shown four truthful videos in which we manipulated the presence of stereotypical cues and asked them to judge how credible the person in each video is. Moreover, research consistently shows that decision making is influenced by various cognitive biases. One example is the primacy effect, which implies that people form an opinion early in the decision process. Information acquired early will have the largest influence on how subsequent information will be interpreted. To investigate a possible primacy effect, we also manipulated whether these cues were present towards the beginning or the end of the video (i.e. the timing of the manipulation). In line with our expectations, the presence of stereotypical cues significantly lowered the observed credibility, showing that the presence of these cues indeed influences credibility judgements. The timing of the cues had no effect. K E Y W O R D S credibility assessment, cues to deception, nonverbal behaviour
... High-stake lies were used in some previous research. For example, Vrij and Mann (2001) used the videos from media where missing people's family members announced the missing of their family and asked for help. In these videos, some of the announcers were telling the truth, while the others were hiding the truth that the people claimed to be missing were murdered by the announcers themselves. ...
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High stakes can be stressful whether one is telling the truth or lying. However, liars can feel extra fear from worrying to be discovered than truth-tellers, and according to the “leakage theory,” the fear is almost impossible to be repressed. Therefore, we assumed that analyzing the facial expression of fear could reveal deceits. Detecting and analyzing the subtle leaked fear facial expressions is a challenging task for laypeople. It is, however, a relatively easy job for computer vision and machine learning. To test the hypothesis, we analyzed video clips from a game show “The moment of truth” by using OpenFace (for outputting the Action Units (AUs) of fear and face landmarks) and WEKA (for classifying the video clips in which the players were lying or telling the truth). The results showed that some algorithms achieved an accuracy of >80% merely using AUs of fear. Besides, the total duration of AU20 of fear was found to be shorter under the lying condition than that from the truth-telling condition. Further analysis found that the reason for a shorter duration in the lying condition was that the time window from peak to offset of AU20 under the lying condition was less than that under the truth-telling condition. The results also showed that facial movements around the eyes were more asymmetrical when people are telling lies. All the results suggested that facial clues can be used to detect deception, and fear could be a cue for distinguishing liars from truth-tellers.
... Studies of lie detection based on videotaped police interviews with persons suspected of serious crimes, later confirmed guilty (e.g., Mann et al., 2008), do not indicate any differences in the suspect's demeanor between when he is telling a straight lie and when he (later) is telling the truth, and the overall hit rate is not much above chance level. Likewise, studies of TV interviews of mourning relatives of victims of serious crimes begging the perpetrator to come forward, some of whom later turned out to have committed the crime (Vrij and Mann, 2001;Baker et al., 2013), show that truthfulness judgments were close to chance level (for a single exception, see Wright Whelan et al., 2014). A study of routine police controls of cars, some of which had a minor crime to conceal, showed no above-chance level detection of the true crimes (Carlucci et al., 2013). ...
... A useful parallel may be in deception detection. While officers think they can detect deception, the evidence indicates otherwise (Aamodt, 2008;Aamodt & Custer, 2006;DePaulo & Pfeifer, 1986;Vrij & Mann, 2001) and it is important that officers are therefore not overly confident in their ability to tell if someone is lying. While there are many factors that may affect the decision-making process of detectives, there is evidence that they attend to features of the crime scene, such as the weapon used, to generate hypotheses as to who is the offender. ...
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