Spotting liars is hard – but our new method is effective and ethical

Most people lie occasionally. Lies are often trivial and inevitably inconsistent – like a tasteless gift. But in other contexts, cheating is more serious and can have a detrimental effect on criminal justice. From a sociological point of view, such lies are found to be better than to be ignored and tolerated.

Unfortunately, the lie is difficult to detect accurately. Lie detectors such as polygraphs, which work by measuring the level of concern in a subject when answering questions, Considered “theoretically weak” And of questionable reliability. This is because any passenger questioned by customs officials knows that it is possible to be concerned without being guilty.

We have developed a new approach to spot liars based on interview technique and psychological manipulation Results just published Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition.

Our technology is part of the new generation Cognitive-based lie detection methods There is rapid research and development on this. These approaches suggest that the mental and strategic process adopted by truth-tellers during interviews is quite different from that of liars. By using specific techniques, these differences can be amplified and detected.

One such approach is Asymmetric Information Management (AIM) Technology. At its core, it is designed to provide suspects with detailed information to demonstrate their innocence or guilt to investigators. Small details are the life givers of forensic investigations and can provide investigators with a witness to the fact investigation and questioning. Importantly, a longer, more detailed statement Usually have more clues A deception compared to short statements.

Essentially, the AIM method involves informing suspects of these facts. In particular, the interviewers make it clear to the interviewers that if they provide a more detailed description of the event of interest, the investigator will be better able to find out if they are telling the truth or lying. This is good news for those who tell the truth. For liars, this is less good news.

In fact, research shows that when suspects are provided with these instructions, they behave differently depending on whether they are telling the truth or not. Truth-tellers usually seek to demonstrate their innocence and usually provide more detailed information in response to such instructions.

Conversely, liars desire to hide their crime. This means that they are more likely to strategically withdraw information in response to AIM directives. His (completely correct) assumption here is that providing more information will make it easier for the investigator to detect his lie, so instead, he gets less information.

This asymmetry in the lies and truth-telling reactions – from which the AIM technique derives its name – suggests two conclusions. When using AIM instructions, if the investigator is presented with a potential suspect who is providing a lot of detailed information, they are likely to tell the truth. Conversely, if the potential suspect is lying, the investigator will usually be presented with short statements.


But how effective is this approach? Early research on AIM technology has been promising. For our study, we recruited 104 people, who were sent to various locations in one of the two secret missions to a university and to retrieve and / or deposit intelligence material.

All interviewees were then told that a data breach occurred in their absence. Therefore, he was a suspect and was facing an interview with an independent analyst. Nimmi was asked to explain the truth about her mission to convince the interviewer of her innocence. The other half were told that they could not provide any information about their mission, and they should come up with a cover story about the time and place of the breech to explain to the analyst of their naivete.

They were then interviewed and AIM techniques were used in half the cases. We found that when the AIM technique was used, it was easy for the interviewer to lie. In fact, the accuracy rate of lie-detection increased from 48% (AIM) to 81% – with truth-telling providing more information.

Research is also exploring ways to enhance AIM technology by using cues that can help provide more information to truth-givers. Information can be difficult to remember, and truth-statements often conflict with their recall.

Memory Tools “Memory“May be able to enhance this process. For example, if a witness to a robbery made an initial statement and could not recall additional information, investigators could use an “approach to change” – the witness about events from someone else’s perspective Will think to think (“What will be the police?” The officers have seen that they were there “). It can remove information from new – old unauthenticated – memory.

If this is the case, our new technology may be even more accurate in being able to detect verbal differences between truth-telling and false ones.

Either way, our method is an ethical, non-accusatory and information-gathering approach to interviewing. The AIM instructions are simple to understand, easy to implement and look promising. While initially tested for use in police suspect interviews, such instructions can be applied in many types of settings, such as insurance-claim settings.chit chat

By this article Cody Porter, Senior Teaching Fellow in Psychology and Offending Behavior, University of PortsmouthRepublished from chit chat Under a Creative Commons license. read the Original article.