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Detecting Deceit: Current Issues (From International Developments in Investigative Interviewing, P 190-206, 2009, Tom Williamson, Becky Milne, and Stephen P. Savage, eds. - See NCJ-228326)

NCJ Number
Peter Bull
Date Published
17 pages
This chapter discusses the application of microanalysis to cue identification in deception detection, with attention to whether deception can be detected from nonverbal cues.
The chapter argues that traditional research on cue identification is based on an old-fashioned and outmoded view of nonverbal communication, implemented through inappropriate laboratory techniques derived from experimental psychology. In contrast, contemporary research on interpersonal communication is an interdisciplinary endeavor. It draws on a wide range of academic disciplines that this laboratory tradition ignores. Of particular importance is the focus on studying the details of social interaction through the analysis of film, audiotape, and videotape recordings. Because such research is based on the detailed ("micro") analysis of both speech and nonverbal behavior, it has become known as "microanalysis" (Bull, 2002). The primary argument of this chapter is that in analyzing the role of nonverbal behavior in deception detection, a radically new approach is required that is more compatible with contemporary thinking on communication analysis. Microanalytical studies have consistently shown the interdependence between speech and nonverbal behavior. Hand and facial gestures may be viewed as visible acts of meaning; arguably, they should be treated as part of natural language. In developing an integrated perspective on the analysis of deceptive communication, particular use could be made of micro-expressions. 41 references