Martha Davis, Keith A. Markus, Stan B. Walters, Neal Vorus and Brenda Connors
Law and Human Behavior 29(6), pp 683 – 704, December 2005
Coding statements of criminal suspects facilitated tests of four hypotheses about differences between behavioral cues to deception and the incriminating potential (IP) of the topic. Information from criminal investigations corroborated the veracity of 337 brief utterances from 28 videotaped confessions. A four-point rating of topic IP measured the degree of potential threat per utterance. Cues discriminating true vs. false comprised word/phrase repeats, speech disfluency spikes, nonverbal overdone, and protracted headshaking. Non-lexical sounds discriminated true vs. false inthe reverse direction. Cues that distinguished IP only comprised speech speed, gesticulation amount, nonverbal animation level, soft weak vocal and “I (or we) just” qualifier. Adding “I don’t know” to an answer discriminated both IP and true vs. false. The results supported hypothesis about differentiating deception cues from incriminating potential cues in high-stakes interviews, and suggested that extensive research on distinctions between stress-related cues and cues to deception would improve deception detection.