Deception in context: coding nonverbal cues, situational variables and risk of detection

Zhang, Ke; Frumkin, Lara A.; Stedmon, Alex and Lawson, Glyn (2013). Deception in context: coding nonverbal cues, situational variables and risk of detection. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 28(2) pp. 150–161.



There are many situations in which deception may arise and understanding the behaviors associated with it are compounded by various contexts in which it may occur. This paper sets out a coding protocol for identifying cues to deception and reports on three studies, in which deception was studied in different contexts. The contexts involved manipulating risks (i.e., probability) of being detected and reconnaissance, both of which are related to terrorist activities. Two of the studies examined the impact of changing the risks of deception detection, whilst the third investigated increased cognitive demand of duplex deception tasks including reconnaissance and deception. In all three studies, cues to deception were analyzed in relation to observable body movements and subjective impressions given by participants. In general, the results indicate a pattern of hand movement reduction by deceivers, and suggest the notion that raising the risk of detection influences deceivers? behaviors. Participants in the higher risk condition displayed increased negative affect (found in deceivers) and tension (found in both deceivers and truth-tellers) than those in lower risk conditions.

Viewing alternatives

Download history


Public Attention

Altmetrics from Altmetric

Number of Citations

Citations from Dimensions

Item Actions