To nod or not to nod: how does interviewer nonverbal behavior affect rapport perceptions and recall in truth tellers and lie tellers?

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Researchers have often claimed that the interviewer’s nonverbal behavior such as nodding facilitates rapport building, the number of recalled details, and verbal veracity cues. However, there is no experiment to-date that isolated the effects of nodding in information gathering interviews. We thus examined the effects of interviewer’s nodding behavior on rapport perceptions and on the number and accuracy of total details provided by truth tellers and lie tellers. Participants (N = 150) watched a video recording and then reported it truthfully or falsely to an interviewer. The interviewer showed demeanor that was either supportive with nodding, supportive without nodding, or neutral. Truth tellers reported more total details than lie tellers and these effects were similar across demeanor conditions. No significant effects emerged for rapport perceptions and accuracy of total details. These results suggest that the interviewer’s nodding behavior does not affect rapport perceptions and details provided by truth tellers and lie tellers.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Early online date31 Jan 2024
Publication statusEarly online - 31 Jan 2024


  • nodding
  • interviews
  • lie detection
  • information yield
  • interviewer nonverbal behavior

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