The Correlation between Behavioral Characteristics and Lie Detection


  • Grace Harper Texas A&M University


The accuracy of lie detection is a highly debated topic in the science community, and it has been determined that there are many conditions in which the “truth” simply cannot be determined (Saxe 1991). The purpose of this experiment was to decide whether the truthfulness or falsehood of the responses of a set of randomly selected test subjects could be determined by observation of their behavior. Based on prior knowledge, it was hypothesized that the truthfulness of the test subjects could not be determined based off analysis of their behavior. The experiment consisted of interviewing a group of test subjects in a series of two trials of the same questions, one that they would answer truthfully and one that they would answer untruthfully. The subjects chose which trial they told the truth and which they did not. Their behavior was observed for both trials, and the observations were recorded. The presence of certain common behavioral traits was graphed, and revealed that there were in fact patterns in the overall behavior that distinguished between true and false responses. It was concluded that for this group of subjects, certain behavioral characteristics, such as lack of eye contact or lack of emotions present, indicated that the subject was lying when answering questions.



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