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Detecting vocal and verbal cues of deception: A field study

By Sabrina Fiona Preller


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.This field study explored (1) whether liars and truth-tellers differed significantly in their use of nine vocal and verbal behavioural cues; and (2) whether the same behavioural cues distinguished significantly between politicians and non-politicians. The latter hypothesis was based on the assumption that in compliance with the ‘attempted behavioural control’ approach, politicians may be better at controlling their behavioural cues than non-politicians. Both hypotheses were tested by retrospectively comparing the deceptive and truthful behavioural cues of ten famous personalities. Consequently, a mixed measures design was used in this quasi-experiment, which included one ‘independent measure’ independent variable (i.e. ‘occupation’); one ‘repeated measure’ independent variable (i.e. ‘statement veracity’); as well as nine dependent variables (i.e. one for each behavioural cue). Subsequently, separate mixed Analyses of Variance were used to analyse the data – except for the data that violated the parametric assumptions, for which Mann-Whitney and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests were conducted instead. The findings did not support either experimental hypothesis as no significant differences were found across the four experimental groups with respect to all nine vocal and verbal cues. Therefore, the data suggest that none of the behavioural cues tested in this study are reliable indicators of deception in a real-life setting. Yet, the discussion section highlights possible explanations for these null-findings in the light of the study’s limitations.University of Leiceste

Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9006
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