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J Appl Psychol. 2004 Feb;89(1):137-49.

Detecting true lies: police officers' ability to detect suspects' lies.

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  • 1Psychology Department, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, England.


Ninety-nine police officers, not identified in previous research as belonging to groups that are superior in lie detection, attempted to detect truths and lies told by suspects during their videotaped police interviews. Accuracy rates were higher than those typically found in deception research and reached levels similar to those obtained by specialized lie detectors in previous research. Accuracy was positively correlated with perceived experience in interviewing suspects and with mentioning cues to detecting deceit that relate to a suspect's story. Accuracy was negatively correlated with popular stereotypical cues such as gaze aversion and fidgeting. As in previous research, accuracy and confidence were not significantly correlated, but the level of confidence was dependent on whether officers judged actual truths or actual lies and on the method by which confidence was measured.

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