Deception and self-awareness

Lawson, Glyn; Stedmon, Alex; Zhang, Chloe; Eubanks, Dawn and Frumkin, Lara (2011). Deception and self-awareness. In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 9th International Conference, EPCE 2011. Orlando, FL, USA, July 9-14, 2011, Springer, 6871 pp. 414–423.


This paper presents a study conducted for the Shades of Grey EPSRC research project (EP/H02302X/1), which aims to develop a suite of interventions for identifying terrorist activities. The study investigated the body movements demonstrated by participants while waiting to be interviewed, in one of two conditions: preparing to lie or preparing to tell the truth. The effect of self-awareness was also investigated, with half of the participants sitting in front of a full length mirror during the waiting period. The other half faced a blank wall. A significant interaction was found for the duration of hand/arm movements between the deception and self-awareness conditions (F=4.335, df=1;76, p<0.05). Without a mirror, participants expecting to lie spent less time moving their hands than those expecting to tell the truth; the opposite was seen in the presence of a mirror. This finding indicates a new research area worth further investigation.

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