Detecting deceit via analysis of verbal and nonverbal behavior

Aldert Vrij, Katherine Edward, Kim P. Roberts, Ray Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined the hypotheses that (1) a systematic analysis of nonverbal behavior could be useful in the detection of deceit and (2) that lie detection would be most accurate if both verbal and nonverbal indicators of deception are taken into account. Seventy-three nursing students participated in a study about “telling lies” and either told the truth or lied about a film they had just seen. The interviews were videotaped and audiotaped, and the nonverbal behavior (NVB) and speech content of the liars and truth tellers were analyzed, the latter with the Criteria-Based Content Analysis technique (CBCA) and the Reality Monitoring technique (RM). Results revealed several nonverbal and verbal indicators of deception. On the basis of nonverbal behavior alone, 78% of the lies and truths could be correctly classified. An even higher percentage could be correctly classified when all three detection techniques (i.e., NVB, CBCA, RM) were taken into account.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-263
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2000


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