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Sitting in Judgment: How Body Posture Influences Deception Detection and Gazing Behavior

Zloteanu, M; Krumhuber, EG; Richardson, DC; (2021) Sitting in Judgment: How Body Posture Influences Deception Detection and Gazing Behavior. Behavioral Sciences , 11 (6) , Article 85. 10.3390/bs11060085. Green open access

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Abstract

Body postures can affect how we process and attend to information. Here, a novel effect of adopting an open or closed posture on the ability to detect deception was investigated. It was hypothesized that the posture adopted by judges would affect their social acuity, resulting in differences in the detection of nonverbal behavior (i.e., microexpression recognition) and the discrimination of deceptive and truthful statements. In Study 1, adopting an open posture produced higher accuracy for detecting naturalistic lies, but no difference was observed in the recognition of brief facial expressions as compared to adopting a closed posture; trait empathy was found to have an additive effect on posture, with more empathic judges having higher deception detection scores. In Study 2, with the use of an eye-tracker, posture effects on gazing behavior when judging both low-stakes and high-stakes lies were measured. Sitting in an open posture reduced judges’ average dwell times looking at senders, and in particular, the amount and length of time they focused on their hands. The findings suggest that simply shifting posture can impact judges’ attention to visual information and veracity judgments (Mg = 0.40, 95% CI (0.03, 0.78)).

Type: Article
Title: Sitting in Judgment: How Body Posture Influences Deception Detection and Gazing Behavior
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/bs11060085
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/bs11060085
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: accuracy; bias; body postures; deception detection; embodiment; empathy; experimental design; eye tracking; facial expressions; veracity judgment
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10131300
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