The Missing Link in Training to Detect Deception and its Implications for Justice

Saskia Ryan, Nicole Sherretts, Dominic Willmott, Dara Mojtahedi, Benjamin Baughman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of response bias and target gender on detecting deception. Design/methodology/approach: Participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental conditions: a stereotype condition (bogus training group), a tell-signs condition (empirically tested cues), and a control condition. Participants were required to decide whether eight targets were lying or telling the truth, based upon the information they had been given. Accuracy was measured via a correct or incorrect response to the stimuli. The data were then analyzed using a 2× 2 × 3 mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) to determine whether any main or interactional effects were present. Findings: Results revealed training condition had no significant effect on accuracy, nor was there a within-subject effect of gender. However, there was a significant main effect of accuracy in detecting truth or lies, and a significant interaction between target gender and detecting truth or lies. Research limitations/implications: Future research should seek a larger sample of participants with a more extensive training aspect developed into the study, as the brief training offered here may not be fully reflective of the extent and intensity of training which could be offered to professionals. Originality/value: Within the criminal justice system, the need for increased accuracy in detecting deception is of critical importance; not only to detect whether a guilty individual is being deceitful, but also whether someone is making a false confession, both to improve community safety by detaining the correct perpetrator for the crime but also to maintain public trust in the justice system. The present research provides a fresh insight into the importance of training effects in detecting deception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalSafer Communities
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


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