Verbal Cues to Deception Detection – Literature review Example

The paper "Verbal Cues to Deception Detection" is a wonderful example of a literature review on psychology.
In most situations when people have to lie, they resort to “attempted behavioral control” to look natural (Porter at al., 2008:28). They can appear to be less emotional than ordinary people to conceal their emotional instability and speak normally. In order to cope with their stress which can lead to inconsistencies in the content of their narrative and speech errors, they can speak slower than usual (Vrij and Man, 2001). On the contrary, the study by Porter et al. (2008) states that offenders tend to speak a bit faster than usual to sound more truthful. As a result, it is relevant to suggest that any deviations in speech rate noticed by professional lie detectors can reveal lies.
According to Ekman (2009), slips of the tongue are often associated with lying. They occur in tirades pronounced in faster tempo more often than in ordinary speech. If people answer the questions indirectly and give more information than they are requested, they can be caught lying (Ekman, 2009). Even though tirades involve strong or exaggerated emotional appeal, nervous smiles and speech hesitations, especially in the beginning of phrases, become more frequent.
Telling lies, people make fewer self-references in their narratives. Less frequent blinking and longer pauses in speech become two major differences between truth and lie in the study by Vrij and Man (2004).
According to Ekman (2009), pauses can be filled with nonwords (different sighs, coughing etc.), frequent repetition of similar information or use of the same constructions in speech (well, I mean, like, you know), and partial words appearance (I dis- don’t want). Pauses are accompanied by amplitudes in pitch and timbre of speakers. Higher pitch indicates nervousness and fear of being caught if people lie; the same situation happened when people speak about something which makes them feel angry (Ekman, 2009). Overall, speech errors and accidental changes in the pitch where the talk is not emotional are obvious verbal cues related to lying.
In the study by Porter et al. (2008), it is proved that truthful narratives tend to contain more details than fabricated ones. Ekman (2009) tell that the lack of details makes them shorter than truthful narratives. They increase the use of gestures, especially illustrating and self-manipulating ones. This increase in non-verbal supportive gestures is motivated by the desire to distract people’s attention and cover up possible miscorrelation in the story (Ekman, 2009; Porter et al., 2008). The use of self-references in lies can slightly decrease if the consequences of lying are very serious (Vrij & Mann, 2001; Porter et al., 2008). Offenders tend to be more serious and avoid accidental laughing and smiling (Ekman, 2009; Granhag & Strömwall, 2002; Porter et al., 2008). According to Granhag & Strömwall (2002), fabricated narratives tend to remain consistent and stick to the same verbiage when they are repeated several times during some period of time. False narratives tend to be more formal and linear in their structure; they are less associated with breaks in chronology. However, the reverse chronological order makes them less sustainable and rich in verbal cues which reveal lies (Vrij et al., 2008).
In conclusion, it is necessary to know that suspicious and non-suspicious lie detectors get the same results. Ekman (2009) insists on the fact that people need to consider verbal and non-verbal cues as a unity in any lie detection process. Active gestures, mimics, and exaggerated emotional background can make professional lie detectors less attentive and distract their attention from verbal cues present in fraudulent narratives. Verbal cues are more consistent than other signs of lying because they are more difficult to be controlled by the speaker consciously (Vrij et al., 2008). Most of them are effective to reveal cognitive effort and inner conflict of the offender caused by lying.