Are You Lying to Me? Exploring Children’s Nonverbal Cues to Deception

Mariana Serras PereiraTilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)
Eric PostmaTilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)
Suleman ShahidTilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)
Marc SwertsTilburg center for Cognition and Communication (TiCC)

Abstract

The present study investigates how easily it can be detected whether a child is being truthful or not, and explores the cue validity of a child’s body movement for such type of classification. To achieve this, we introduce a combination of methods, in particular a perception test, and an automated body movement analysis. Film fragments from truthful and deceptive children were shown to human judges who were given the task to decide whether the recorded child was being truthful or not. Results reveal that judges are able to reliably and accurately distinguish truthful clips from lying clips. The automated movement analysis revealed a positive correlation between the amount of movement in a child and the perception of lies, i.e., the more movement the children exhibited during a clip, the higher the chance that the clip was perceived as a lie.

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