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Detecting Lies: Section a)


  • The purpose of interview is to establish a persons guilt/innocence
  • The police needs to be able to detect lies and avoid gaining false confessions
  • police tend to believe theyre good at detecting lies . This is due to body language reading etc
  • A polygraph is a device that measures change in skin conductivity and heart rate when suspect is tense
  • truth serums e.g. sodium pentathol

Evidence summary

  • Mann et al (2004)
  • aim- police officers ability to distinguish truths and lies during police interviews with suspects
  • method- field experiment, 99 mostly male kent police officers with mean age 34.3, majority of whom were detectives.
  • They were shown 54 clips of 14 suspects which lasted between 6-145 seconds


  • Common cues: persons gaze, movements, vagueness in replies, fidgeting
  • Officers able to detect a lie 66.2% of time and truth 63.6% of time  both are significant
  • interview experience correlated with officers ability to detect lies/truth 
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Detecting lies: section a)


  • Police officers are good at detecting lies especially if they have experience which allows them to identify key body language cues. They make errors in this as its not an exact science

Explanation of Study:

  • Put study into context of question
  • this study clearly shows that detecting lies...
  • link to background info
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