Date of Award


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David Carscaddon


Deception detection is used by many law enforcement professionals who work in interviews and interrogations. The ability to detect deception or having knowledge on the signs of deception is very important in not only law enforcement, but in other careers and everyday life. The question remains: is deception detection a science or not a science? There are three areas where someone can learn how to detect deception and those are verbal communication, non-verbal communication, and paralanguage. The use of verbal communication looks at what the person is saying with their words. The use of non-verbal communication looks at what someone is communicating through their body language and facial expressions. The use of paralanguage focuses on how someone communicates their statements. These all factor into detecting deception and understanding what each looks like is important. Learning about the signs of deception for each will allow people to know what indicators to look for when interacting with another person. There are people that believe they have completely mastered these skills and that have a strong sense of detecting deception. They are called lie wizards and claim to be able to detect deception very easily and naturally. There is not, however, enough evidence to suggest that this is true and that lie wizards exist. Ultimately, through examining several studies and looking at different indicators, deception can be detected to a certain degree of accuracy. The practice of deception detection is not an exact science, but by knowing the various signs and recognizing clusters of them can assist in successfully detecting deception.