Movement as masque : detection inconsistent communications from facial clues

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An attempt was made to identify specific facial behaviors on the basis of which naive subject-judges might discriminate between consistent and inconsistent communications of other persons. Ten stimulus persons were videotaped twice, in one- minute, content-controlled segments: once under instructions to present themselves authentically and once under instructions to dissimulate. Naive subject-judges (N=40) viewed the 20 taped segments and were asked to discriminate between authentic (consistent) and deceptive (inconsistent) communications on the basis of visual information alone, without auditory input. Judges rated tapes for authenticity and indicated on a protocol up to five items (from a list of thirty-one facial behaviors) which had most influenced their judgements. The hypothesis that judges could discriminate between authentic and deceptive communications under the conditions of this experiment was given some support. Little light was shed, however, on the nature of the discrimination process. Results indicated that: a) High-scoring judges attended to a greater total number of cues than did low-scoring judges; b) No specific behaviors were significantly correlated with deceptive communications: c) One behavior (full smile) was consistently associated with authenticity; d) High scorers may have benefited from ignoring certain "misleading cues" to which low-scoring judges attended; e) High scorers appeared to rely on intuitive processes beyond the scope of the experiment; and f) Cumulative discriminative accuracy did not increase significantly over time.