Skip to main content
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 38
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    van Veldhuizen, Tanja S. Maas, Rachel P. A. E. Horselenberg, Robert and van Koppen, Peter J. 2018. Establishing Origin: Analysing the Questions Asked in Asylum Interviews. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 25, Issue. 2, p. 283.

    Ulatowska, Joanna 2018. Accuracy of indirect method in detection of false intent. Legal and Criminological Psychology, Vol. 23, Issue. 1, p. 24.

    Vrij, Aldert Leal, Sharon Mann, Samantha Fisher, Ronald P. Dalton, Gary Jo, Eunkyung Shaboltas, Alla Khaleeva, Maria Granskaya, Juliana and Houston, Kate 2018. Using unexpected questions to elicit information and cues to deceit in interpreter-based interviews. Applied Cognitive Psychology, Vol. 32, Issue. 1, p. 94.

    Wright, Clea and Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M. 2017. Police officers' beliefs about, and use of, cues to deception. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Vol. 14, Issue. 3, p. 307.

    Dunbar, Norah E. Jensen, Matthew L. Harvell-Bowman, Lindsey A. Kelley, Katherine M. and Burgoon, Judee K. 2017. The Viability of Using Rapid Judgments as a Method of Deception Detection. Communication Methods and Measures, Vol. 11, Issue. 2, p. 121.

    Street, Chris N. H. and Vadillo, Miguel A. 2016. Can the Unconscious Boost Lie-Detection Accuracy?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 25, Issue. 4, p. 246.

    Morris, Wendy L. Sternglanz, R. Weylin Ansfield, Matthew E. Anderson, D. Eric Snyder, Jillian L. H. and DePaulo, Bella M. 2016. A Longitudinal Study of the Development of Emotional Deception Detection Within New Same-Sex Friendships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 42, Issue. 2, p. 204.

    Hauch, Valerie Sporer, Siegfried L. Michael, Stephen W. and Meissner, Christian A. 2016. Does Training Improve the Detection of Deception? A Meta-Analysis. Communication Research, Vol. 43, Issue. 3, p. 283.

    van ’t Veer, Anna E. Gallucci, Marcello Stel, Mariëlle and Beest, Ilja van 2015. Unconscious deception detection measured by finger skin temperature and indirect veracity judgments—results of a registered report. Frontiers in Psychology, Vol. 6, Issue. ,

    Wu, Song Cai, Wei and Jin, Shenghua 2015. Motivation Enhances the Ability to Detect Truth from Deception in Audio-only Messages. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 119.

    Curtis, Drew A. and Hart, Christian L. 2015. Pinocchio’s Nose in Therapy: Therapists’ Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Client Deception. International Journal for the Advancement of Counselling, Vol. 37, Issue. 3, p. 279.

    Wright Whelan, Clea Wagstaff, Graham F. and Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M. 2015. Subjective Cues to Deception/Honesty in a High Stakes Situation: An Exploratory Approach. The Journal of Psychology, Vol. 149, Issue. 5, p. 517.

    Elntib, Stamatis Wagstaff, Graham F. and Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M. 2015. The Role of Account Length in Detecting Deception in Written and Orally Produced Autobiographical Accounts using Reality Monitoring. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling, Vol. 12, Issue. 2, p. 185.

    Volbert, Renate and Steller, Max 2014. Is This Testimony Truthful, Fabricated, or Based on False Memory?. European Psychologist, Vol. 19, Issue. 3, p. 207.

    Israel, Salomon Hart, Einav and Winter, Eyal 2014. Oxytocin Decreases Accuracy in the Perception of Social Deception. Psychological Science, Vol. 25, Issue. 1, p. 293.

    Ulatowska, Joanna 2014. Different Questions – Different Accuracy? The Accuracy of Various Indirect Question Types in Deception Detection. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 21, Issue. 2, p. 231.

    Wright Whelan, Clea Wagstaff, Graham F. and Wheatcroft, Jacqueline M. 2014. High-Stakes Lies: Verbal and Nonverbal Cues to Deception in Public Appeals for Help with Missing or Murdered Relatives. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 21, Issue. 4, p. 523.

    Bond, Charles F. Levine, Timothy R. and Hartwig, Maria 2014. Detecting Deception. p. 37.

    Stollznow, Karen 2014. Language Myths, Mysteries and Magic. p. 247.

    Granhag, Pär Anders Mac Giolla, Erik Strömwall, Leif A. and Rangmar, Jenny 2013. Counter-Interrogation Strategies among Small Cells of Suspects. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, Vol. 20, Issue. 5, p. 705.

  • Print publication year: 2004
  • Online publication date: September 2009

2 - Discerning lies from truths: behavioural cues to deception and the indirect pathway of intuition


Can you tell whether suspects are lying based on what they say, how they say it, how they sound when they say it, or how they look? Can you do so even without any special equipment, such as a polygraph to monitor physiological responses (Honts, this volume) or a camera to record interviews, which can then be studied in microscopic detail (O'Sullivan and Ekman, this volume)? These are the questions we will address in this chapter.

Reading this chapter will not give anyone grounds for feeling smug about his or her deception detection prowess in forensic contexts (nor in any other contexts, for that matter). The study of verbal and non-verbal behavioural cues to deception is an inexact science, and probably always will be. We will offer hints, based on the current state of the science, about the kinds of behaviours that are more or less likely to intimate that a suspect may be lying. Our suggestions may be of some value in cases in which more definitive evidence, such as DNA, is not available or has not yet been uncovered. We hope our review will also prove useful in demonstrating why sweeping statements about perfect cues to deception are deserving of deep scepticism.

There are two fundamental questions in the study of verbal and nonverbal cues to deception. First, are there any such cues? That is, are there any behaviours that indicate whether a person may be lying?

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Detection of Deception in Forensic Contexts
  • Online ISBN: 9780511490071
  • Book DOI:
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
Anderson, D. E. (1999). Cognitive and motivational processes underlying truth bias. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Virginia
Anderson, D. E., DePaulo, B. M., and Ansfield, M. E. (2002). The development of deception detection skill: A longitudinal study of samesex friends. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 536–45
Anderson, D. E., DePaulo, B. M., Ansfield, M. E., Tickle, J. J., and Green, E. (1999). Beliefs about cues to deception: Mindless stereotypes or untapped wisdom?Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 23, 67–89
Bond, C. F., Jr, and DePaulo, B. M. (2004). Accuracy and truth bias in the detection of deception. Manuscript in preparation
Bond, C. F. Jr, and Fahey, W. E. (1987). False suspicion and the misperception of deceit. British Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 41–6
Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (rev. edn). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum
DePaulo, B. M., Charlton, K., Cooper, H., Lindsay, J. J., and Muhlenbruck, L. (1997). The accuracy–confidence correlation in the detection of deception. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 346–57
DePaulo, B. M., Jordan, A., Irvine, A., and Laser, P. S. (1982). Age changes in the detection of deception. Child Development, 53, 701–9
DePaulo, B. M., and Kirkendol, S. E. (1989). The motivational impairment effect in the communication of deception. In J. C. Yuille (ed.), Credibility assessment (pp. 51–70). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic
DePaulo, B. M., Lindsay, J. J., Malone, B. E., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., and Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 74–118
DePaulo, B. M., and Rosenthal, R. (1979). Telling lies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 1713–22
DePaulo, B. M., Rosenthal, R., Green, C. R., and Rosenkrantz, J. (1982). Diagnosing deceptive and mixed messages from verbal and non-verbal cues. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 18, 433–46
Ekman, P. (1985). Telling lies. New York: Norton. (Reprinted, 1992.)
Ekman, P., Friesen, W. V., and O'Sullivan, M. (1988). Smiles while lying. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 414–20
Granhag, P. A., and Strömwall, L. A. (2000). Deception detection: Examining the consistency heuristic. In C. M. Breur, M. M. Kommer, J. F. Nijboer, and J. M. Reintjes, (eds.), New trends in criminal investigation and evidence II (pp. 309–21). Antwerpen: Intersentia
Hall, M. E. (1986). Detecting deception in the voice: An analysis of fundamental frequency, syllabic duration, and amplitude of the human voice. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University
Horvath, F. S. (1973). Verbal and non-verbal clues to truth and deception during polygraph examinations. Journal of Police Science and Administration, 1, 138–52
Horvath, F., Jayne, B. C., and Buckley, J. (1994). Differentiation of truthful and deceptive criminal suspects in behaviour analysis interviews. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 39, 793–807
Hurd, K., and Noller, P. (1988). Decoding deception: A look at the process. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 12, 217–33
Inbau, F. E., Reid, J. E., Buckley, J. P., and Jayne, B. C. (2001). Criminal interrogation and confessions (4th edn). Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen
Vrij, A. (2000). Detecting lies and deceit. Chichester, England: John Wiley
Vrij, A., Akehurst, L., and Morris, P. (1997). Individual differences in hand movements during deception. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 21, 87–101
Vrij, A., Edward, K., and Bull, R. (2001). Police officers' ability to detect deceit: The benefit of indirect deception detection measures. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 6, 185–96
Yuille, J. C., and Cutshall, J. (1989). Analysis of statements of victims, witnesses, and suspects. In J. C. Yuille (ed.), Credibility assessment (pp. 175–91). Dordrecht, the Netherlands: Kluwer Academic