Degree Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Psychology

Major

Psychology

First Advisor

Stephanie Madon

Abstract

Influential interrogation manuals assert that investigators can detect deception from a suspect’s behaviors with high rates of accuracy when they have access to contextual information about the crime (e.g., case facts, witness statements, forensic evidence). The current study provided the first empirical test of this claim. Undergraduate participants were presented with statements made by either a liar or truth-teller who denied involvement in a real transgression and judged whether they believed that the individual was lying or telling the truth. While making this judgment, participants were either able or unable to observe the individual’s behavior and received or did not receive relevant contextual information about the alleged transgression. Results provided no evidence that the provision of behavioral cues or contextual information affected accuracy of participants’ judgments independently or in combination. Exploratory analyses revealed that behavioral cues biased judgments toward deception, while contextual information biased judgments toward truth. These findings suggest that the evaluation of behavioral cues may put innocent suspects at risk of being misclassified as deceptive, whereas the provision of contextual information may bias judgments toward truth or exacerbate individuals’ pre-existing biases.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31274/etd-20200902-150

Copyright Owner

Kristen Alicia Slapinski

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

File Size

110 pages

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