Lie-detection biases among male police interrogators, prisoners, and laypersons

I know, I’ve been away a long time, finishing off my doctorate and working hard, so no time for blogging. The doctorate is finally out of the way but I still don’t have masses of spare time. When I can I’ll update these blogs with studies that catch my eye, though I don’t think I’ll be able to comment in depth on many of them in the way that I used to. That’s partly a time issue, but also I haven’t got access to as many full text articles as I did when I was registered at a university. I’ll do what I can.

Here’s a study that sounds like an interesting addition to the literature on what people think of their own lie-detection abilities:

Beliefs of 28 male police interrogators, 30 male prisoners, and 30 male laypersons about their skill in detecting lies and truths told by others, and in telling lies and truths convincingly themselves, were compared. As predicted, police interrogators overestimated their lie-detection skills. In fact, they were affected by stereotypical beliefs about verbal and nonverbal cues to deception. Prisoners were similarly affected by stereotypical misconceptions about deceptive behaviors but were able to identify that lying is related to pupil dilation. They assessed their lie-detection skill as similar to that of laypersons, but less than that of police interrogators. In contrast to interrogators, prisoners tended to rate lower their lie-telling skill than did the other groups. Results were explained in terms of anchoring and self-assessment bias. Practical aspects of the results for criminal interrogation were discussed.

The full text is behind a paywall – I can’t find a direct link so you have to get there by going to the publisher’s website and searching their e-journals.

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