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Universidad de Salamanca
Jaume Masip
Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology

Searching for the source of police officers’ lie bias in judging veracity

Masip, J., Alonso, H., Herrero, C., & Garrido, E. (2016). Experienced and novice officers’ Generalized Communication Suspicion and veracity judgments. Law and Human Behavior, 40, 169-181. doi:10.1037/lhb0000169

Deception detection research has shown that police officers are less truth-biased and make their veracity judgments with greater confidence than do nonofficers. Here we examined nonofficers, novice officers, and experienced officers’ response bias, confidence, and generalized communicative suspicion. In Experiment 1, novice officers aligned with nonofficers in terms of both generalized communicative suspicion scores and confidence, with both these groups scoring lower than experienced officers. Generalized communicative suspicion scores and veracity judgments were not significantly related for either sample. However, novice officers aligned with experienced officers in terms of judgments: both police groups were lie-biased, whereas nonofficers were truth-biased. These findings suggest that unlike experienced officers, who have embraced the police culture to a greater degree, novice officers are not dispositionally suspicious (generalized communicative suspicion); however, they are able to mirror the prototypical police behavior (deception judgments) in police-related contexts. Experiment 2 supported these notions.



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