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Police confidence in lie detection: an assessment of crime types, Miranda and interview techniques

Durant Frantzen (Based at Texas A&M University, San Antonio, Texas, USA)
Salih Hakan Can (Based at Penn State University, Schuylkill Haven, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 16 March 2012




Experimental research on lie detection has indicated that accuracy rates hover around chance but that police are significantly better in detecting deception in “high” stakes rather than “low” stakes situations. This paper has three objectives: to compare confidence levels in lie detection for property crime and violent crime detectives; to compare differences in confidence levels for custodial and noncustodial interviews; and to evaluate the relationship between interrogation techniques and lie detection confidence.


The study uses self‐report data from a sample of Texas police detectives.


The results of this study show that property crime detectives are significantly more confident in their lie detection ability than are violent crime detectives. The results also highlight the fact that police detectives are significantly less confident in their lie detection abilities when the suspect has been provided his or her Miranda warnings.


The study highlights the disparity in findings derived from self‐reported data and experimental studies on veracity judgments and the need to account for contextual factors that ultimately impact the ecological validity of this research.



Frantzen, D. and Hakan Can, S. (2012), "Police confidence in lie detection: an assessment of crime types, Miranda and interview techniques", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 2 No. 1, pp. 26-37.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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