An investigation of accuracy and bias in cross-cultural lie detection

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The detection of deception has been relatively unexplored from a cross-cultural standpoint. In such context, the observers and communicators may have different cultural norms and expectations of behavior. These differences may create the potential for bias and errors. To investigate this, 71 Australian students (20 males and 51 females), with a mean age of 21.3 years (SD = 5.98), were asked to make credibility judgments of 24 video clips in which culture and language use (first vs second) were manipulated. It was found that participants were generally poor not only at classifying lies and truths within cultures, but also across cultures. Although the results indicated that the language spoken had no impact on observers' ability to discriminate between lies and truths, observers were generally more suspicious of Colombian clips and, in particular, of those that depicted Colombians speaking in a second language. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-82
Number of pages17
JournalApplied Psychology in Criminal Justice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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