U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Two Heads are Better Than One?: How to Effectively Use Two Interviewers to Elicit Cues to Deception

NCJ Number
244319
Journal
Legal and Criminological Psychology Volume: 18 Issue: 2 Dated: September 2013 Pages: 324-340
Author(s)
Samantha Mann; Aldert Vrij; Dominic J. Shaw; Sharon Leal; Sarah Ewens; Jackie Hillman; Par Anders Granhag; Ronald P. Fisher
Date Published
September 2013
Length
17 pages
Annotation
The authors examined the effect of a second interviewer's demeanor on cues to deception. The authors predicted that a supportive demeanor would be the most beneficial for eliciting verbal cues to deceit, as it would encourage truth tellers, but not liars, to say more. In addition, the authors examined the extent to which interviewees deliberately made eye contact with the interviewers. Liars take their credibility less for granted than truth tellers, and therefore have a greater drive to be convincing. Liars are thus more likely to monitor the interviewer to determine if the interviewer appears to believe them.
Abstract
Participants appeared before two interviewers: the first asked all the questions and the second remained silent. The second interviewer exhibited either a supportive, neutral, or a suspicious demeanor. Truth tellers provided significantly more detail than liars, but only in the supportive second interviewer condition. The effect of a second interviewer's demeanor on detail was perhaps remarkable given that the interviewees hardly looked at the second interviewer (less than 10 percent of the time). Liars displayed more deliberate eye contact (with the first interviewer) than truth tellers did. A supportive second interviewer has a positive effect on interviewing. The authors discuss this finding in the wider contexts of investigative interviewing and interviewing to detect deception. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.