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Interpersonal Communication by Charles R. Berger

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Aldert Vrij

14 Detecting lies and deceit: Pitfalls and opportunities in nonverbal and verbal lie detection

Abstract: People are generally poor at detecting deceit when observing someone’s behaviour or listening to their speech. In this chapter I will discuss the major factors (pitfalls) that lead to failures in catching liars: the sixteen reasons I will present are clustered into three categories: (i) a lack of motivation to detect lies; (ii) difficulties associated with lie detection; and (iii) common errors made by lie detectors. Discussing pitfalls provides insight into how lie detectors can improve their performance (for example, by recognising common biases and avoiding common judgment errors). The second section of this chapter discusses ...

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