Looking through the eyes of an accurate lie detector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research has indicated that teaching people how to detect deception often results in little success (Bull, 1989, 2004). This experiment sets out to improve lie detection ability in a novel way, by asking participants to “look through the eyes of an accurate lie detector”. In a prior experiment (Mann, Vrij, & Bull, 2004) participants were exposed to clips of suspects in their interviews who either lied or told the truth, and asked to make veracity judgements. They were also asked to select fragments within those clips which contained behaviour that they considered to be relevant to their decision. Those fragments, as selected by the most accurate lie detectors, are the basis of this experiment. Lie detectors in this study were exposed to either the full-length original clips (control group) or fragments of the original clips as selected by previously accurate lie detectors (experimental groups). It was hypothesized that, by eliminating supposedly 'white noise' ambiguous behaviour in the clip, participants should achieve higher accuracy than participants who saw the whole clip. Results indicated that experimental lie detectors could detect truths and lies above the level of chance, but not significantly better than the control group. In addition, confidence scores for correct judgments were consistently higher than confidence scores for incorrect judgments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Looking through the eyes of an accurate lie detector'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this