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Universidad de Salamanca
Jaume Masip
Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology

Police officers and community members get stuck to their beliefs about behavioral deception cues despite their experience showing that other kinds of information are far more revealing

Masip, J., & Herrero, C. (in press). Police detection of deception: Beliefs about behavioral cues to deception are strong even though contextual evidence is more useful. Journal of Communication. doi:10.1111/jcom.12135

Research questions the validity of behavioral deception cues; however, people believe behavioral cues are reliable deception indicators. Police officers and community members indicated both how lies can be detected (beliefs), and how they discovered a lie in the past (revealing information). Officers did the latter twice, prompted with a professional versus a personal context. For both groups, beliefs were primarily behavioral (e.g., demeanor) and revealing information contextual (evidence, third-party information, etc.). Officers responded similarly regardless of context. Relative to community members, officers provided more cues and referred more often to verbal contradictions and active detection strategies when asked about beliefs. Practitioners should bemade aware of the discrepancies between their beliefs about deception cues and useful information to detect lies.


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