Lie Detection and Interrogation

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Read Chapters 2 and 3. (Your post does not need to be double length even though it is over 2 chapters).

Summarize the chapter. What information was most surpising or interesting to you? Do you think you are a good lie detector? Why or why not? Do you think anyone can be? What about polygraphs? Do people always know that they are being interrogated? Why would that matter?

Provide a list of psychological and legal terms you used at the bottom of your post

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The second chapter of the text addressed the effectiveness, and the way in which interrogation is used specifically in major cases such as homicide, murder, rape, and so forth. Although this is an essential tool for law enforcement, I never saw it in such a psychological perspective as I now do. The chapter pointed out, that although interrogating possible persons of interest are influential in an investigation, that often they become the leading cause in wrongful convictions. How then, and why would an innocent person commit to a crime? This is precisely what the chapter addressed. Although the process of interrogations is still somewhat flawed the development of interrogation and the rights of the accused have come a long way. In the case of Miranda vs. Arizona the rights of a criminal being questioned became more refined; what we know now as Miranda rights. Further, a dynamic shift from physical abuse to ensure a confession to the more subtle psychological abuse took affect when physical tactics were outlawed. This then lead to a holistic approach when evaluating cases on a grand scale. For example, rather than focusing so much attention on just the admittance of guilt (the confession) investigators and judges alike evaluating the case must look at the totality of the circumstances, or all the factors that may or may not have influenced the confession in terms of it being “voluntary.”
This then leads to the logical conclusion that if so many wrongful convictions are due to confessions from innocent people how can they be avoided? The book addressed this through several processes involving using technology to record the interview, protecting the vulnerability of the adolescent, and to limit the length of the interview. Although these processes seem simple enough they indeed are not. Many agencies still do not record interrogations, and bias such as only presenting part of the recorded interview to the court during trial can still lead to wrong convictions.
As a result it became very clear, very quickly that the criminal was against the odds from the get-go. This is because the interrogations processes are somewhat unethical. For example in the United States is legal for investigators to lie to the suspect, presenting false evidence and insecurities. Further the process itself creates an insecure, socially isolated, and suppressive environment. Indeed this is what law enforcement wants however it often leads to false convictions such as mental-coerced confessions, the most common because the suspect simply wants the long interrogation to end, instrumental-voluntary false convictions, authentic-coerced confessions, and so forth.
The authentic-coerced false confession, or when a suspect comes to the conclusion due to a long interview process that they convince themselves he or she actually committed the crime was truly daunting. Specifically the case of Thomas Sawyer. In Sawyer case he suffered severe social anxiety, shyness and mental problems. When he was questioned, police investigators lied, isolated him, and eventually convinced him that he was guilty. He even took a polygraph, and investigators further convinced him that he failed the test. This is an extreme example of how psychology influences the investigative process. They did not create new memories, but instead lead Sawyer to believe he was guilty, and reshaped his own details of his memory by feeding him further and further incorrect details. As a result this is an extreme case of the bias and problems with the interrogation process. Sawyer’s case also leads into the question as to how influential and whether or not lie detectors are a good investigating tool.
Most interesting in terms of the polygraph I thought was the notion that the polygraph test itself is yet another means of coercion. That is to say as the chapter pointed out whether or not you take the test is irrelevant as that the investigator sees the action of taking the test, or the action of not taking the test an admission of guilt. Further, investigators may inform you that you failed even when you passed in attempt to get a confession because then a third party piece of technology is calling the suspect a liar as well as the investigator.
This was what I found to be most interesting. The extensive amount of bias and the confidence of the examiner all influence the investigation. Often time’s examiners may misread, or become over confident in their ability to recognize deception. This in correlation with the fact that everyone reacts to being questioned differently in terms of physiological responses may lead to multiple false positives and problems with the testing.
In terms of knowing whether or not the suspect is being investigated influences highly the results. As I described before the investigation process in terms of interrogation are not always perfect. False confessions due to anxiety, wanting to stop the test (authentic-coerced false confession) or in Thomas Sawyers case social anxiety all influence the test. If they know they are being questioned the way they react physically, how they respond non-verbally and so forth may influence negatively how the investigator judges them as guilty or not guilty. Individuals, who become more negatively affected by the processes of interrogation such as social isolation, may respond in different ways such as more body movement. The investigator as I stated may see these non-verbal responses as a confident belief that the suspect is guilty; however this is not the case because these are liar stereotypes. Rather this only changes the confidence in which the investigator thinks they have labeled deception when in reality they may be wrong.
This then is why I don’t think I or anyone for that matter can truly be a perfect detector of lies. We all deceive one another on a daily basis, and when we think we may have found someone to be lying its possible we just misread the signs. It reminded me somewhat of Shakespeare’s quote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely player.” This is more a sociology aspect but it relates I think to psychology as well. Due to the fact that we alter are perceptions of ourselves in attempt to portray to others how we want them to see us, we may portray the wrong message. This rings true with telling “white lies” in attempt to alter how an individual sees us in attempt to impress, or change their judgment of us. Because it then is such a common notion it becomes hard to tell facts, from lies when conversing on a social level. This then is also why I don’t think that polygraphs as the chapter pointed out are very good at detecting lies either. After all, an examiner has to make a judgment on whether or not what they witness is a response of deception. This in correlation with the negative effects of the interrogation process, and the overconfidence examiners usually have leads to conclude that they are not really that beneficial. Which lead me to question why on earth jurors can be persuaded by polygraph results? However, as multiple previous chapters have pointed out it’s very easy to change opinions for the good or for the bad. Which makes proven “the truth, whole truth, nothing but the truth.” Very complex.

Terms: interrogation, Miranda rights, totality of the circumstances, investigation process: social isolation, anxiety, vulnerability. Authentic-coerced false confession, social anxiety, polygraph, examiner confidence, false positives, non-verbal responses, white lies, liar stereotypes.


Chapters 2 and 3 fit well together and covered the topics of confessions, interrogations, and lie detection. All three of these are important aspects of the criminal justice process and all take place after a particular crime has been committed. Psychology is present in all three of these areas in various ways. All three of these can be used to the advantage of criminal justice officers, but must be used carefully, as they hold a lot of weight in the courtroom.

Confessions are ultimately the goal of questioning suspects. They save time and provide the closest thing to actually ensuring a conviction in court. Confessions are hard to ignore, because someone is saying, straight-out, that he or she committed the crime in question. However, confessions are not always reliable. Suspects sometimes make false confessions. These confessions often come from being coerced by officials, efforts to protect someone else, or because a suspects is delusional. Police coercion is something that absolutely terrifies me. Officials can push, suggest, lie, and prod until even the innocent suspects begin to believe that they committed the crime for which they are being questioned. Being young can also be a contributing factor due to the fact that children and teens are more susceptible to suggestion and emotional arousal. 25% of wrongful convictions are related to false confessions.

Confessions are most often elicited through the use of interrogation. Techniques have changed through the years; shifting from physical violence, torture, and psychological coercion towards more modern and (sometimes) accepted techniques. We have all seen the good-cop-bad-cop routine portrayed on TV and in movies. What we don’t see are techniques such as the Reid technique (which involved nine steps) and the idea that interrogations should be built on these principles: loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt/evidence ploys, and exculpatory scenarios. The topic of officials lying in interrogations to extract confessions in often discussed. While it is sometimes helpful, it also can hurt the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system. Lying should be used carefully by professionals public spotlight.

Chapter 3 continued the conversation about interrogations by discussing how officials try to detect lying. We often try to read both verbal and nonverbal cues from suspects and witnesses to determine whether or not they are telling the truth. However, this is not always a reliable way to go about it. We look for stereotypical signs that someone is lying such as averted gaze, stuttering, and squirming. One of my favorite psychological concepts to discuss, confirmation bias, also comes into play here. If we think someone is lying, we are likely to only pick up on cues that support our suspicions. In an attempt to combat this, we use technologies such as the polygraph, Guilty Knowledge Test, fMRI, EEG, and high-definition infrared thermal imaging to measure changes when we lie. As with the use of confessions and eyewitnesses, all of these lie detection methods heavily persuade juries, so they must each be used with caution.

I was really interested in learning about all the different ways officials use to detect lies. Though the technology can still be improved, it is great to see what it can do already. I’m a terrible liar, and I am pretty awful at telling when other people are lying as well. I need all the help I can get when it comes to lie detection. I think it is hard for anyone to say that they are a good lie detector. Some may have good natural instinct about liars, but it is hard to be consistent and hard to explain exactly why you believe someone is lying.

Interrogations are also an interesting subject because they can take place without knowing that you are considered a person of interest. You may think that you are providing a witness statement or lending a hand with missing information, when you are really under surveillance because of your suspected association with the crime. Police deception can be very useful in gaining information regarding crimes, but it also hurts the public’s image of the institution.

Terms: confession, interrogations, polygraph, liar’s stereotype, guilty knowledge test, fMRI, EEG, high-definition infrared thermal imaging, confirmation bias, types of confessions, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, evidence ploys, exculpatory scenarios, reid technique, good cop-bad cop approach

Summarize the chapter 2 & 3

Chapter Two cover interrogations and confessions and flowed rather well into chapter three with Lie detection which is very important especially while conducting either of those two. In my opinion they authors could have combined all three into one chapter although I could see how that would be a lot of information. I also think that if that is the case the Lie detection should have been before the interrogation and confessions chapter, but that was just my opinion.

Anyways, chapter two was broken down into six sections starting out with the power of a confession. It briefly describes the importance of an interrogation and getting a confession. It also gives information about the evolution of interrogation and the new techniques. One of the biggest things to happen through evolution were the Miranda Rights in 1966 which brought forth a standardized process of reading someone their rights. The was a section about what happens in a typical, modern interrogation room and it was similar to what I see on TV which really has me wondering if that is even true at all, which was good cop-bad cop approach. I did learn something new which was the Reid technique and how that is a psychological process involved in interrogations. The chapter explained the different types of interrogations such as loss of control and social isolation then it covered exculpatory scenarios with the readers. The Chapter went through with false confessions and the types of false confessions as well as the time limits on interrogations. It ended with a section about the expert testimony on interrogations and confessions which it was very interesting to read that the sole purpose of expert testimony at trial is to provide an overview of the research and to assist the jury – they can actually speak to the jury. I thought that was very interesting.

Chapter 3 covered lie detention and after reading it thoroughly I could understand why it had to be a chapter in itself. There is a complexity of deception like no other. There were so many things described in this chapter from whether or not we can tell if someone is lying to us, to whether or not we can lie. It also introduced the polygraph and the process of polygraphing. There are some weaknesses of polygraph testing and there is research on the polygraph. When it comes to psychology and law and dealing with polygraphs there is legal status on it. And of course you will find an alternative poly-graph based option in this chapter. There was a section about how jurors respond to the evidence of a polygraph. And I found the section on looking for lies in the brain to be rather interesting and very educational as well as telling eyes through the eyes which I think I have perfected the skill. Although, I am sure I have not. But I believe I am of a good judge of character and think I could very well be a profiler or interrogator.

What information was most surprising or interesting to you?

Under the section “the problem of false confessions” there was a percentage, 25 % of known wrongful convictions involve false confessions and I found that not only surprising but rather alarmed. I do not understand how someone can be sentenced to jail without evidence other than “I guess I did it” or “If the evidence says I did it, okay”. I really find that unbelievable but it was the in black and white. Most of the wrongful convictions were due to interrogations being done wrong or must have gone wrong.

Do you think you are a good lie detector? Why or why not?

I have always believed that I could tell when someone was lying or not. It is almost like a game and my family treats me like a puppet sometimes. The say I can judge someone or pick out what their feeling or who there are just by looking at them, they say, “oh ya, it’s weird, she can psycho analyze you and you won’t believe it”. And I pretty much can, whether we do the trick about a lie or the truth or they ask me to give them a profile of who I think they are. I look can look at them, scan them, their posture, the way they look that day or whatever and I am almost always correct; just got an instinct or at least that’s what I’ve always thought.

Do you think anyone can be?

Absolutely, I believe there is a science to lying and profiling. Everything about psychology involves behavior and the study of it. How we talk or walk, do we move our hands; are we sweating when we get scared or nervous. I know there can be in fact people who can read other people so well that they could tell whether or not they were lying or not.

What about polygraphs?

I believe in them. I think that for the most part they are accurate and should be used in court. Although, I do find one flaw because I believe that nothing is full proof. I have a small belief that is someone who believes they are telling the truth can pass the test, like maybe a psychopath. Someone who has no conscious would not have the emotions or be wired in the sense that a machine would be able to discover.

Do people always know that they are being interrogated?

No, sometimes if the person is charming or as the questions in a way that doesn’t seem like a question at all and as well sometimes all you have to do is ask the right question and the other person just begins talking. There are ways to manipulate people into talking without them even being aware of it. That is the key to being a good detective or interrogator. You have to know how to talk to people and how to blend in and not intimidate anyone either.
Why would that matter?

If a person knows they are being interrogated then they be feel threatened or be fearful that somehow they would be considered to be involved if they knew about it. If they felt as if they were just being asked their opinion or what they knew in a rather talking sense or conversation wise then it would be better. Being put through in interrogation is like putting someone on the spot or putting the spot light on them. When actually you just want to find out some facts, chances are the suspect if caught will confess after they get into an interrogation situation.

Terms: Interrogation, confession, polygraph, conviction, evolution of interrogation, Miranda Rights, process, interrogation room, good cop-bad cop approach, psychological, loss of control, social isolation, exculpatory scenarios, jail, evidence, psychoanalyze, profiling, psychology, detective, threatened, false confessions, expert testimony, trial, jury, deception, lie detection, the process of polygraphing, legal status, jurors and profiler.

Chapter 2 is about interrogations and confessions. It begins by discussing the important subject of the power of a confession. If the police believe someone is responsible for a crime then the goal of the questioning is to get a confession from this person, and confessions were rated as significantly more incriminating than any other form of evidence. Police prefer confessions over any other kind of evidence for a few different reasons. First, they save time. A confession is pretty much the only kind of evidence that can put a suspect on the fast track to conviction. This is the second and most important reason that the police prefer confessions. It is the closest prosecutors can get to a guaranteed conviction. Interrogations techniques have changed over the years. They have gone from being centered on direct physical violence; to torture that leaves no trace, and finally to only psychological means of coercion. Many different legal decisions pushed police away from physical means more towards psychological techniques. For example, our Miranda Rights are responsible for allowing suspects to be informed of their constitutional rights to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. When looking at today’s interrogation room, you will often find the approach of good cop-bad cop being used. This is used in order to try and get the suspect to trust the good cop and confess to them when the bad cop leaves the room. Something as simple as the types of chairs in the room are important as well. The chapter suggests that they use straight-back chairs that don’t allow slouching, because these kinds of positions are psychologically undesirable. There are four different strategies used in the Reid technique. First is the process built on loss of control. This means that everything in the room is controlled by the interrogator. The suspect is to feel that they have lost control of everything. Second is social isolation. This means that the suspects are to be questioned alone. Another strategy is certainty of guilt. This simply means that the interrogator will start off the questioning by letting the suspect know that they are certain they committed the crime. Lastly is constructing exculpatory scenarios. The police will offer excuses for the crime in order to clear a path for admission by the suspect. There are some problems with confessions, however, and they stem from false confessions. Most people claim that their false confession is due to intimidation, deception, fatigue or abuse. The chapter discusses that youth are at a much higher risk for false confessions simply because they are much more vulnerable to influences from the interrogators. They suggest that vulnerable suspects should be allowed to have an “appropriate adult” with them while being questioned.
Chapter 3 is about lie detection. It starts out by discussing how the world is full of deception and that lying is adaptive from an evolutionary perspective (it is useful for survival). When it comes to determining when others are lying, it was found that people can do better than chance in distinguishing truth from lies, but not by much. A problem for police officers is that they are trained to read verbal and non-verbal behavior in order to determine lies and this kind of training could cause these police officers to become over-confident in their abilities. Things such as crossing of legs, shifting and fidgeting and avoiding eye contact as cues of lying have been pointed out as flawed and are considered to be liar’s stereotypes. The polygraph was designed to write out different physiological responses to the questions asked by the examiner. However, it does have some well-known weaknesses. First, some people are emotionally non-reactive and their lies do not produce any physiological changes. Second, there is no knowing if an innocent suspect will or will not react strongly to a question regarding if they committed the crime. Legally, polygraphs are banned as evidence in court in 23 states but many of these states allow the use of polygraphs under special circumstances. fMRI’s and EEG’s were discussed as more reliable replacements for polygraphs. These methods look at brain activity and would hopefully be able to eliminate those unemotional liars and anxious truth tellers. Lastly, the chapter talks briefly about looking for signs of lying in the eyes. Eye movement memory assessment tracks visual attention to a scene based on eye movement, scanning path, pupil dilation and gaze fixation. Laser doppler vibrometry uses a near-infrared light beam aimed at the neck of a subject from a few hundred feet away in order to hopefully measure different physiological stress symptoms.
Reading about how lying is a means of survival from an evolutionary perspective was interesting to me. People always look at lying in a negative light, and it usually is used in a negative manner but when you really think about it, there are many different instances where lying would be necessary for survival. It can bring about a lot of negative outcomes but it can also bring about positive ones in the right circumstances as well. I also found the many different sections regarding the polygraph to be interesting. I have obviously learned about the polygraph before in the past, but not in this much detail. It ranged from what a polygraph was to how jurors respond to polygraph evidence. It was just refreshing to get to read about something like this in more detail than usual. It helped to answer any unanswered questions I may have had before reading the chapter.
When thinking about myself as a lie detector, I think I have the essential abilities but I don’t necessarily think that I have any special talents in this area. If I were to be faced with someone who could be labeled as a “bad liar” I think I could be somewhat successful. After reading the chapter, however, I know that you can’t always be positive that the way someone is acting is an accurate indicator of if they are lying or not. This makes things even more complicated and I begin to doubt my abilities a little more. I don’t think that there is anyone out there who could be an amazing lie detector. Every person is different and just because you may be good at reading lies from one person doesn’t mean that you will be that good with other people.
As far as polygraphs, I don’t think that they are that great of a method for detecting lies. You could be testing someone who is simply nervous that they are being questioned in the first place and this would cause their physiological stress to go up. Like the chapter said, polygraphs are not a good means for determining if someone is an unemotional liar or an anxious truth teller.
I do think that people are aware most of the time that they are being interrogated. There seems to be a pretty definite line between being interviewed and being interrogated. When someone is being interrogated, the chances that they are considered a suspect are pretty high and I think it would be really hard to hide this aspect as an interrogator. I do think this matter because it will make it harder for a person being interrogated to be themselves and to answer accurately when they know they are being interrogated (whether they did commit the crime or not).

Terms: interrogations, confessions, Miranda Rights, good cop-bad cop, Reid technique, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios, false confessions, liar’s stereotype, polygraph, fMRI, EEG, eye movement memory test, laser doppler vibrometry

Chapter 2 discussed the relevant concepts of interrogations and confessions. The chapter began by introducing how powerful a confession can be, even if it is a false confession. It was stated that jurors find confessions more powerful than eyewitness testimonies. The chapter also briefly covered the history of interrogation techniques and I was surprised to read about how torture seemed to play a part in this. I was also just as surprised to read about the different forms of psychological coercion investigators are allowed to use to gain a confession. Next in the chapter, a description of interrogation and how it is done today was described. The text went over Miranda Rights and the 9 steps of interrogation that many investigators follow. The chapter also dedicated a section to the problem of false confessions while also describing the different types of false confessions. Finally, the chapter concluded with some potential solutions to false confessions. These included video recordings, time limits, appropriate adult safeguard, and expert testimonies.

Chapter 3 was about lie detection and the majority of this chapter discussed the use of the most popular lie detection instrument: the polygraph. Lying was discussed as being very complex and it was noted that most of us cannot tell when others are lying-even those who are trained to detect lies. The polygraph was described as being used for different types of questioning. These included the relevant-irrelevant test (RIT) and the control question test (CQT). Next, the chapter discussed the weaknesses of polygraphing and also discussed polygraph research. The chapter mentioned an alternative polygraph technique, the guilty knowledge test (GKT). The use of the polygraph as a coercion device was given attention next and was followed by a discussion of how jurors respond to polygraph evidence. Alternatives to the polygraph wrapped up this chapter. The fMRI, EEG, and the idea of high-definition infrared thermal imaging were listed.

I was most surprised by the inaccuracy of police and trained experts in detecting lies. I had thought they had certain techniques and training that no one else knew about that allowed them to see when others were clearly lying. I had heard of the typical liar stereotypes (squirming, avoiding eye contact, etc) and I just assumed experts in lie detection had much more information at their disposal. However, after reading the chapter, I found out that in a study, police detectives actually did worse at distinguishing true form false confessions than college students.

I would love to say that I am a good lie detector, but of course I’m not entirely sure. When it comes to people I know well, I can tell better whether or not they are lying. Usually the typical signs are lack of detail, defensiveness, smirking, or a history of lying. When it comes to people I don’t know, I can’t tell as well. Some people you just know their lying because their story doesn’t add up or it’s so far exaggerated that you know it didn’t happen. However, for the most part I cannot tell when others are lying very well. It’s hard to say whether I think others can be good at detecting lies. I naively believed police detectives were good at detecting lies, but after reading the chapter in the book, that’s hard to believe now!

Polygraphs, according to chapter 3, are not as good at detecting lies as most people think. Many problems are associated with the polygraph so I think it’s very hard to depend on and say for certain whether or not polygraphs are accurate in lie detection. Like chapter 3 says, a lot of criminals are good liars and a lot of criminals are psychopaths and may not have the typical physiological responses that most people would show in reaction to some of the questions. In addition, innocent people may show more heightened physiological arousal in response to some questions than the guilty person simply as a result of fear of being charged with a crime they did not commit.

According to chapter 2, people don’t always know when they are being interrogated. The discussion of the Miranda rights went over this. Many people waive their Miranda rights because they just want to answer the questions as quickly as possible and prove their innocence. In addition, many guilty people waive their Miranda rights as well because they want to look innocent. I think a lot of people that are being interrogated don’t know they are being interrogated because of the way detectives word their questions. I think a lot of police officers say “questioning” as opposed to “interrogating” so as to not scare the suspect away. Whether or not an individual knows he/she is being interrogated matters because they may accidently self-incriminate themselves or be coerced by police to falsely confess. These results can lead to a whole mess of problems within the legal system.

If we relate these two chapters back to psychology, it is quite obvious how social psychology is relevant. In chapter 2, the book even mentions the social psychological principle of the fundamental attribution error when discussing the power of a confession. We can also see psychology relevant in the discussion of interrogation techniques. The processes of loss of control, social isolation, and certainty of guilt are all psychologically relevant. Coercion can also be seen as persuasion and persuasion is a huge concept in social psychology. In addition, detecting lies in others is relevant because lie detection depends on multiple social cues.

Terms: interrogations, confessions, false confessions, polygraph, fundamental attribution error, GKT, RIT, CQT, social psychology, coercion, Miranda rights, liar stereotype

Chapters 2 and 3 were describing the lie detection process, confessions, and interrogations that bring the “truth” to light. Confessions are the most important thing to get out of interrogations because this ensures that someone will be spending time for the crime committed, officers also prefer this technique because it saves time. Interrogations and confessions however are not as easy as they show them on TV, with the whole good-cop bad-cop technique it doesn’t always work. Confessions can also be false, where the person is trying to protect someone else or the interrogator is being pushy and giving false information in order to make the person confess to a crime they didn’t necessarily commit. Adolescence are more susceptible to this due to them being easily persuaded, these factors have to be taken into account in interviews, like they cannot be extremely long. False confessions are one of the main causes of wrong conviction and someone can be put away for purely being convinced that they committed the crime when they did not.

Officials are technically allowed to lie in interrogations to get confessions, but this can be concerning to many people and make them question the justice system. I feel as if they should be looking for the truth and not just to get a confession out of the wrong person. There are many steps that the justice system has taken to improve interrogations, there used to be violence and torturing to get a confession out of someone, which could also lead to false confessions because they want it to stop. To a more “sophisticated” form of interrogation where the officer lies to the suspect in order to get what they want. Seems corrupt to me, and they we are not taking the proper measures to get the truth.

Chapter 3 talked about lie detection in the justice system. Lie detection is used in everyday life by taking in people’s body language, but how can this lead to whether someone is telling the truth or not? This is not a very reliable technique that is used and can also lead to someone being wrongly convicted. One of the many lie detection methods is the polygraph. This detects fluctuations blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. I am not sure that this is a good method because someone who is under a lot of stress is already going to be experiencing some of these symptoms that indicate lying. Personally I would be freaking out even if I were being interrogated because that’s just intimidating.

I am not very good at telling whether someone is lying or not, and it is even harder because people can tell white lies which are not as severe. I do not think anyone can truly being good at lie detection because there are so many factors that can go into a lie and everyone is different and may have different reactions when they lie. Some may fidget or some may be very still and stern.

I find it really interesting that 25% of wrong convictions are due to the interrogation process. I think this really says something about what is going on behind the closed door. I think that officials really need to change their equipment and quit looking for signs that are not really there or don’t really matter. Confirmation bias happens a lot it seems in the justice system. If an officer thinks that a specific suspect did it they are likely to as leading questions and make the witness think they did it as well. Same when it comes to lie detection, officers are going to be looking for those cues, any cue that a person is lying when those cues may not even be a sign that they are lying. If an anxious person is being interrogated, they are likely to be squirmy and looking around the room. I don’t think a normal person would be completely comfortable going into an interrogation knowing that the officers can lie to you and distort evidence to get a confession.

People do not always know that they are being interrogated because this can cause extra stress for people. A good interrogator needs to be calm and approachable and ask the right questions in order to get the right information. A person may be thinking they are just helping and contributing known information to the case, but the officer may have ulterior motives to getting a confession out of you.

Terms: Interrogation, lie detection, confessions, good-cop bad-cop, false confessions, leading questions, probing, polygraph, and confirmation bias.

The power of a confession can be huge in the legal system but only 39-48% of suspects make full confessions while being interrogated by police. While gathering evidence is a good source of information for a conviction, it is through leads and questioning in combination with evidence that produce a conviction. For good reasons listed in previous chapters that have been read in our book about evidence and the errors that can occur, a police officer prefers a confession to all other types of evidence. If a suspect confesses the likelihood that a trial will occur lessens therefore saving time and resources throughout the process of the trial. Going through the interrogation process however to get to a confession can be a tricky process.
There are a couple of different antecedents that can elicit a confession; low and high pressure from officers to confess. In a situation where low pressure is used, suspects are more likely to confess quicker and willingly. In an example of a high pressure situation a suspect would complain about being in pain, that the cuffs were to tight and one of the police officers waived a gun before the suspect would confess. In this situation jurors recognized that the confession was coerced and therefore when it came to a verdict they were less likely to find that suspect guilty. In the low pressure situation jurors had no problem finding that suspect guilty due to the fact that it seemed natural and un-elicited. These findings can be explained by the fundamental attribution error which demonstrates the fact that when analyzing other people’s behavior we tend to underestimate the power of situational forces.
While today it is still possible to find the mistreatment of suspects in an interrogation room, interrogation techniques today mostly rely on psychological techniques to get a confession out of a suspect. Using the “Good cop bad cop” approach, two interrogators work as a team playing the bad cop and the good cop. The bad cop, usually a larger individual and more intimidating out the two, shows anger and expresses beliefs that the suspect should receive the most severe punishment possible. The other officer, the one who is playing the good cop, will typically show the suspect sympathy and understanding. Having that sort of a contrast while interrogating suspects will usually lead to the suspect confessing when the bad cop leaves. Another technique used in interrogation rooms today is known as the Reid Technique. The Reid Technique possesses four foundational strategies; loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios. Each foundational strategy relates to scenarios in which the interrogation process is most effective.
Unfortunately during the interrogation process there are suspects who resort to lying to try and get out of whatever crime they committed. When interrogators go into training for their profession they are typically trained to read verbal and non-verbal cues to indicate whether or not a suspect is lying. It is found however that this training my wrongly increase the interrogators confidence levels in lie detection therefore leads to a liar’s stereotype. Behaviors such as fidgeting, avoiding eye contact, crossing legs and shifting can all be misread and decrease the likelihood that one can differentiate between truth and deception. This flawed interpretation can lead to a confirmation bias amongst interrogators. Lie detection devices that have been developed over a period of time help with the confirmation bias errors when differentiating lies from the truth. A polygraph test measures physiological changes in a person when answering different types of questions. The person is usually wearing a blood pressure cuff around their upper arm, has a pneumatic tube that stretches across their chest, and electrodes hooked up to their fingers when being administered the test. The theory behind these kinds of tests is that lying will produce some sort of physiological response. There are problems with a polygraph test however; one being that some people are emotionally unreactive. For some people lying produces no physiological response. People who are more prone to this are psychopathic, fearless, controlled type people.
Terms: confession, interrogated, evidence, antecedents, elicit, high pressure situation, low pressure situation, coerced, fundamental attribution error, good cop bad cop approach, intimidation, sympathy, Reid technique, non-verbal cues, lying, liar’s stereotype, confirmation bias, physiological response, emotionally unreactive.

For this week’s assignment, we were assigned to read chapters two and three and then discuss them. They were both very interesting chapters. What made them interesting was the information and facts that were discussed in them. Chapter two focused on Interrogations and confessions. Chapter three focused on lie detection. These two chapters really go hand in hand with each other. I will first start off with summarizing chapter two and then summarizing chapter three. Chapter two was a very interesting chapter. It starts off with a story about a jogger who is raped and beaten in New York’s Central Park. The police rounded up a group of boys who had been harassing individuals around the time of the rape. After a day and a half of interrogation, five out of the six boys confessed to doing the rape. The boys were all sentenced to sentences that ranged from five to 15 years. After a decade, a man by the name of Matias Reyes told authorities that he had actually raped the girl in the park. So the chapter asks the question of how could five innocent individuals confess to committing a crime that they didn’t do. To examine this, the chapter first starts off with talking about the power of confessions. Confessions obviously can play a huge role in a case. The reason it can play a huge role in a case is that a confession means that a person is admitting that he/she committed the crime. The book “Forensic and Legal Psychology” goes on to talk about how confessions are given at a higher percentage when police officers conduct the interrogation. In fact, according to the book, confessions culminate in interrogations at a percentage of 39% and 48%. Some people might ask why this is a problem. The answer to this question is answered by the book. According to the textbook, confessions lead to a conviction rate of roughly around 79%. I personally would have thought it would have been higher because you would think that if a person admits to doing a crime that he/she would be more likely to be convicted because they said they did it. However, as shown in the story above, we now see that confessions are not always true. According to the book, the next leading cause of conviction is eyewitness testimony at roughly 59%. Both of these methods have problems with them. As well have talked about in class, getting interrogated by the police can be stressful, and when your mind is under stress, it can cause memories to be skewed. Also, eyewitnesses are not always accurate as well, however, that is for another chapter. The next thing that chapter two talks about is a thing called fundamental attribution. Fundamental attribution is the process by which we tend to dismiss the situational pressures acting on a person. What does this mean? To explain this, I am going to use the story that was told at the start of chapter two. People tend to ask how five boys could admit to doing a crime that they didn’t commit. People tend to think that if they were being interrogated by the police that they would be able to sit there and deny something that they didn’t do. However, people tend to not understand the fact that talking with the police can be very nerve racking. That sometimes if you are constantly told that you did something and that they have evidence that you did it, and they might be willing to sentence you to a lesser sentence if you just confess. Now if you are a 15 or 16 year old boy, and you think that there is no other way to get out of the situation that you are in, it might look pretty good to confess and get out of that stressful situation. This leads into the topic that chapter two talks about next, it talks about the evolution of interrogation techniques. The process by which the police acquire the information that they are given has drastically change over time. According to the textbook, interrogation is no longer talking about physical violence; instead it focuses more on psychological violence. This can be things such things such as keeping people in an interrogation room for long periods of time. This leads to the next topic of chapter two which talks about the Miranda rights. These are rights that are supposed to be informed to you when you are arrested. The Miranda rights can be recognized by “you have the right to remain silent…” This is an attempt by the system to make sure that the legal process is fair and to avoid the situations that we saw in the story at the beginning of the chapter. However, what is surprising about this data is the fact that a majority of individuals actually choose to waive their Miranda rights. According to the text book, only 20% of individuals choose to use their Miranda rights. The chapter goes on to talk about other things that the Supreme Court has done to make sure that confessions are validated. These include things such as the totality of circumstances. This basically says that judges are supposed to look at the circumstances by which the confession was given. This is to make sure that the person wasn’t “persuaded” by the police to give a confession. The next thing that chapter two talks about is what actually happens inside the interrogation room. This includes things such as good cop bad cop as well as the Reid technique; which talks about the process by which the police try to get a confession. The chapter continues on to talk about the loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios. The chapter talks about how each is used in the process of interrogation. Chapter two finishes up its chapter by talking about false confessions and the types of false confessions. The types of false confessions include mental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, and authentic coerced false confession. Each of them is different ways for which a false confession can happen. In the case of the story at the beginning of the chapter, it would be a mental coerced confession. What that means is that the confession came after a long drawn out interrogation. In the case of the story, the boys had been interrogated for a day and a half. The chapter finally ends with the talk about expert testimony when it comes to interrogations and confessions. This could include people that talk about the means of which a confession was acquired and whether or not it is valid. Chapter three on the other hand talks about something completely different. It talks about Lie detection. This chapter focused on how police or people tell if other people are lying. The chapter starts off talking about the amount of lies that students tell in a 10 minute period. The book found that on average that students told around 2.9 lies during that period. The chapter continues on to talk about if we can actually tell when someone is lying. We as a society would like to think that we can, however, in the real world it is really hard to tell when a person is actually lying. The process by which the police tell if people are lying can actually have negative effects on a person. The chapter talks about how police look for certain cues to tell if a person is lying. These “cues” are called liar’s stereotype. According to a study, it found that 70% of individuals think that people are lying when they avert their gaze, squirm, tough themselves more, and stutter. This can lead to problems because what if the person is just nervous to talk with police. The example that I can think of in my personal life is the fact that I could remember my girlfriend’s phone number when I wasn’t talking to police, however, when I was I couldn’t. I think that there are some factors that aren’t taken into account that should be. The chapter next talks about Polygraphs. A polygraph is a device the measures blood pressure and heart rate. The police or people ask questions and observe the physical changes that happen when a person is answering the questions. However, there are problems with polygraphs. According to a study done, it showed the even innocent people would sometimes test positive for being guilty when put through a polygraph; this is called a false positive. The polygraph actually goes through what is called the relevant-irrelevant test (RIT), which is the process by which a polygrapher is known the process of asking questions that are very direct and not leading. There is another thing called control questions, which are questions about behavior that are uncomfortable for the suspect to answer. The book continues to talk about the weaknesses of polygraphing techniques. These include things such countermeasures. This is the process of reducing the process of guilty suspects. Another problem with it is standardization, which is the number of questions and the types of questions. The chapter continues talking about research about polygraphs, which includes things such as mock crimes; which showed that people were correctly sentenced guilty at a rate of about 77%; which is still pretty high. The chapter continues to talk about guilty knowledge test (GKT), which looks at knows the fact only the actual criminal would know. The chapter finally ends by talking about how jurors react to polygraphs, and then talks about the mental process of lying. This talks about fMRI’s and EEG; both of which look at the mental process of which someone lies. Finally, it looks at the process of telling lies from the eyes, and that is chapter three. All of the information that I learned was surprising and interesting to me. Before reading the chapter, I really had no clue about the process of lie detection and the things of polygraphs. The thing that I found the most interesting and surprising from both of the chapters was the process by which the police get confessions. These include things such as the Reid Techniques and the good cop and bad cop. These help the police get confessions; however, it can lead to some problems as we have seen in the book. That the police can get false confessions that can happens because of the process of which the confession happened. Such as the case of the start of chapter two that talks about the process by which the boys confessed after being in prison for a long time. I personally think that I am a bad lie detector. The reason that I believe this is that I tell the truth all the time but my friends always think I am lying. I keep eye contact and I don’t twitch, however, I am can never tell when my friends are lying. I don’t really look into the twitching and stuff along those lines. So I don’t think I am a good lie detector. The reason being that I can’t read people. I do think that there are certain people that are probably able to tell when people are telling lies; however, I am not one of them. I think a person who would be good is a person that can pay attention to details. Such as the character from psych. He would be good at it. Polygraphs I believe can be a very useful tool; however, there are problems as I have talked about above. However, it can be used to accurately to an extent whether or not a person is telling a lie. According to the book, polygraphs are used to accurately convict roughly 77% of individuals. I believe that sometimes people don’t know that they are being interrogated. Why does that matter? It matter that people act different when they know that they are being watched. This is something that we have talked about in class. We have shown that people who know that they are being investigated act different because they want to give the answer that they think that the police wants them to give. This can lead to results being different. So I personally think that it would be better if the police interrogated people without them knowing they were going to be interrogated. However, the Miranda rights make sure that the police tell the person that they have certain rights so the police can’t always do that. Overall, it was a very good two chapters.
Terms: guilty knowledge test (GKT), countermeasures, control questions, false positive, Polygraphs, liar’s stereotype, Lie detection, mental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, and authentic coerced false confession, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios, Reid technique, good cop bad cop, totality of circumstances, Miranda rights, interrogation techniques, fundamental attribution, interrogation, confession

For this week’s assignment, we were assigned to read chapters two and three and then discuss them. They were both very interesting chapters. What made them interesting was the information and facts that were discussed in them. Chapter two focused on Interrogations and confessions. Chapter three focused on lie detection. These two chapters really go hand in hand with each other. I will first start off with summarizing chapter two and then summarizing chapter three. Chapter two was a very interesting chapter. It starts off with a story about a jogger who is raped and beaten in New York’s Central Park. The police rounded up a group of boys who had been harassing individuals around the time of the rape. After a day and a half of interrogation, five out of the six boys confessed to doing the rape. The boys were all sentenced to sentences that ranged from five to 15 years. After a decade, a man by the name of Matias Reyes told authorities that he had actually raped the girl in the park. So the chapter asks the question of how could five innocent individuals confess to committing a crime that they didn’t do. To examine this, the chapter first starts off with talking about the power of confessions. Confessions obviously can play a huge role in a case. The reason it can play a huge role in a case is that a confession means that a person is admitting that he/she committed the crime. The book “Forensic and Legal Psychology” goes on to talk about how confessions are given at a higher percentage when police officers conduct the interrogation. In fact, according to the book, confessions culminate in interrogations at a percentage of 39% and 48%. Some people might ask why this is a problem. The answer to this question is answered by the book. According to the textbook, confessions lead to a conviction rate of roughly around 79%. I personally would have thought it would have been higher because you would think that if a person admits to doing a crime that he/she would be more likely to be convicted because they said they did it. However, as shown in the story above, we now see that confessions are not always true. According to the book, the next leading cause of conviction is eyewitness testimony at roughly 59%. Both of these methods have problems with them. As well have talked about in class, getting interrogated by the police can be stressful, and when your mind is under stress, it can cause memories to be skewed. Also, eyewitnesses are not always accurate as well, however, that is for another chapter. The next thing that chapter two talks about is a thing called fundamental attribution. Fundamental attribution is the process by which we tend to dismiss the situational pressures acting on a person. What does this mean? To explain this, I am going to use the story that was told at the start of chapter two. People tend to ask how five boys could admit to doing a crime that they didn’t commit. People tend to think that if they were being interrogated by the police that they would be able to sit there and deny something that they didn’t do. However, people tend to not understand the fact that talking with the police can be very nerve racking. That sometimes if you are constantly told that you did something and that they have evidence that you did it, and they might be willing to sentence you to a lesser sentence if you just confess. Now if you are a 15 or 16 year old boy, and you think that there is no other way to get out of the situation that you are in, it might look pretty good to confess and get out of that stressful situation. This leads into the topic that chapter two talks about next, it talks about the evolution of interrogation techniques. The process by which the police acquire the information that they are given has drastically change over time. According to the textbook, interrogation is no longer talking about physical violence; instead it focuses more on psychological violence. This can be things such things such as keeping people in an interrogation room for long periods of time. This leads to the next topic of chapter two which talks about the Miranda rights. These are rights that are supposed to be informed to you when you are arrested. The Miranda rights can be recognized by “you have the right to remain silent…” This is an attempt by the system to make sure that the legal process is fair and to avoid the situations that we saw in the story at the beginning of the chapter. However, what is surprising about this data is the fact that a majority of individuals actually choose to waive their Miranda rights. According to the text book, only 20% of individuals choose to use their Miranda rights. The chapter goes on to talk about other things that the Supreme Court has done to make sure that confessions are validated. These include things such as the totality of circumstances. This basically says that judges are supposed to look at the circumstances by which the confession was given. This is to make sure that the person wasn’t “persuaded” by the police to give a confession. The next thing that chapter two talks about is what actually happens inside the interrogation room. This includes things such as good cop bad cop as well as the Reid technique; which talks about the process by which the police try to get a confession. The chapter continues on to talk about the loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios. The chapter talks about how each is used in the process of interrogation. Chapter two finishes up its chapter by talking about false confessions and the types of false confessions. The types of false confessions include mental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, and authentic coerced false confession. Each of them is different ways for which a false confession can happen. In the case of the story at the beginning of the chapter, it would be a mental coerced confession. What that means is that the confession came after a long drawn out interrogation. In the case of the story, the boys had been interrogated for a day and a half. The chapter finally ends with the talk about expert testimony when it comes to interrogations and confessions. This could include people that talk about the means of which a confession was acquired and whether or not it is valid. Chapter three on the other hand talks about something completely different. It talks about Lie detection. This chapter focused on how police or people tell if other people are lying. The chapter starts off talking about the amount of lies that students tell in a 10 minute period. The book found that on average that students told around 2.9 lies during that period. The chapter continues on to talk about if we can actually tell when someone is lying. We as a society would like to think that we can, however, in the real world it is really hard to tell when a person is actually lying. The process by which the police tell if people are lying can actually have negative effects on a person. The chapter talks about how police look for certain cues to tell if a person is lying. These “cues” are called liar’s stereotype. According to a study, it found that 70% of individuals think that people are lying when they avert their gaze, squirm, tough themselves more, and stutter. This can lead to problems because what if the person is just nervous to talk with police. The example that I can think of in my personal life is the fact that I could remember my girlfriend’s phone number when I wasn’t talking to police, however, when I was I couldn’t. I think that there are some factors that aren’t taken into account that should be. The chapter next talks about Polygraphs. A polygraph is a device the measures blood pressure and heart rate. The police or people ask questions and observe the physical changes that happen when a person is answering the questions. However, there are problems with polygraphs. According to a study done, it showed the even innocent people would sometimes test positive for being guilty when put through a polygraph; this is called a false positive. The polygraph actually goes through what is called the relevant-irrelevant test (RIT), which is the process by which a polygrapher is known the process of asking questions that are very direct and not leading. There is another thing called control questions, which are questions about behavior that are uncomfortable for the suspect to answer. The book continues to talk about the weaknesses of polygraphing techniques. These include things such countermeasures. This is the process of reducing the process of guilty suspects. Another problem with it is standardization, which is the number of questions and the types of questions. The chapter continues talking about research about polygraphs, which includes things such as mock crimes; which showed that people were correctly sentenced guilty at a rate of about 77%; which is still pretty high. The chapter continues to talk about guilty knowledge test (GKT), which looks at knows the fact only the actual criminal would know. The chapter finally ends by talking about how jurors react to polygraphs, and then talks about the mental process of lying. This talks about fMRI’s and EEG; both of which look at the mental process of which someone lies. Finally, it looks at the process of telling lies from the eyes, and that is chapter three. All of the information that I learned was surprising and interesting to me. Before reading the chapter, I really had no clue about the process of lie detection and the things of polygraphs. The thing that I found the most interesting and surprising from both of the chapters was the process by which the police get confessions. These include things such as the Reid Techniques and the good cop and bad cop. These help the police get confessions; however, it can lead to some problems as we have seen in the book. That the police can get false confessions that can happens because of the process of which the confession happened. Such as the case of the start of chapter two that talks about the process by which the boys confessed after being in prison for a long time. I personally think that I am a bad lie detector. The reason that I believe this is that I tell the truth all the time but my friends always think I am lying. I keep eye contact and I don’t twitch, however, I am can never tell when my friends are lying. I don’t really look into the twitching and stuff along those lines. So I don’t think I am a good lie detector. The reason being that I can’t read people. I do think that there are certain people that are probably able to tell when people are telling lies; however, I am not one of them. I think a person who would be good is a person that can pay attention to details. Such as the character from psych. He would be good at it. Polygraphs I believe can be a very useful tool; however, there are problems as I have talked about above. However, it can be used to accurately to an extent whether or not a person is telling a lie. According to the book, polygraphs are used to accurately convict roughly 77% of individuals. I believe that sometimes people don’t know that they are being interrogated. Why does that matter? It matter that people act different when they know that they are being watched. This is something that we have talked about in class. We have shown that people who know that they are being investigated act different because they want to give the answer that they think that the police wants them to give. This can lead to results being different. So I personally think that it would be better if the police interrogated people without them knowing they were going to be interrogated. However, the Miranda rights make sure that the police tell the person that they have certain rights so the police can’t always do that. Overall, it was a very good two chapters.
Terms: guilty knowledge test (GKT), countermeasures, control questions, false positive, Polygraphs, liar’s stereotype, Lie detection, mental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, and authentic coerced false confession, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios, Reid technique, good cop bad cop, totality of circumstances, Miranda rights, interrogation techniques, fundamental attribution, interrogation, confession

Chapters 2 and 3 go together like a hand and a glove. Interrogations and confessions are pretty much always linked to lying and lie detection. Chapter 2 is about figuring out what people have to come clean about. Before anything was done with interrogation and taking someone into custody, we had to come up with some kind of way to get people into our hands without hurting the reputation of police and we had to do it the civil way. So back in 1966 there was a case Miranda v. Arizona that put into place the Miranda Rights, this verbal set of rights that gives awareness to the person being taken into custody of their constitutional rights; they are able to remain silent, they can have an attorney or a court appointed one if they cannot afford one etc.

When the rights have been read the interrogation may begin. Police like to use the whole Reid technique which is the nine steps of interrogation. These help police gain control over the situation and it helps them go through the interrogation process. When being interrogated police like to keep the suspect alone from all others, this is called social isolation, it is a strategy that helps the police but is bad for the suspect. The suspect now has no emotional support and has room for a break down, which is what the police want, they want answers and they want them the easy way.

Chapter 2 also goes into false confessions and different solutions that have been brought up to help the problem of false confessions. This can easily jump right into chapter 3 just because it deals with faulty information and lying. Lying sucks and so does the testing that comes with it, for instance the polygraph, the relevant-irrational test (RIT) is put into place when dealing with the polygraph just because it is a set of three types of questions, ones that are not relevant to the behavior being investigated, arousing questions, and questions that are about the person who committed the crime. According to the book, there are several weaknesses of the polygraph techniques that we have.

I think I am an average detector of lies, just because I myself have dealt some lies to the public and family before. I can feel the different facial expressions that I give and I can use that to look at other people. When I lie, I start to fidget quite a lot and that goes along with lying. So if I fidget, and the other people who I think is lying starts to fidget then they are probably lying as well. If I can be a somewhat good lie detector I think relatively anybody could be one.

A polygraph test is a test that measures and monitors spikes in the blood pressure, police use this technique to figure out if someone is lying or not. A blood pressure cuff is placed around the arm and pneumatic tube is placed across the upper torso and the person is asked a set of yes or no questions that could give information about the crime or lets the police know if someone is lying about a situation or a certain question. When the person is lying, the finger of the machine will begin to spike from left to right rapidly, this is a huge indicator of lying. Even though some people can reduce the levels of their blood pressure when they are lying they can somehow get around some of the questions. Usually when people begin to lie, their body begins to go through rapid responses and their blood pressure begins to rise; along with all of these things they can sometimes begin to sweat profusely. This may just be from being nervous but it can also come from being put in a situation they do know how to respond to.

I do not think that everyone knows that they are being interrogated. There are different ways police go about getting their answers out of people. They could be harsh on someone or they could easily ask a few simple questions, but in the back of the minds of the people being asked questions I think they may have some kind of idea that they may be getting interrogated. If people knew that they were being interrogated it may change the outcome of the interrogation all together. The police would not get the correct information to stand in trial and the case could be lost because the person gave them faulty information. So it is best that the person does not know or does not find out that they are being interrogated for the best interest of the case.

I think everything that I have learned in this chapter is really interesting. There was never a dull moment in these two chapters. I kind of knew some things about lying and polygraph tests but learning new information is always a plus in my books.


KEY TERMS: Polygraph, Miranda Rights, Miranda v. Arizona, Reid technique, social isolation, RIT, Interrogation, Lie detector

Chapter two in the text was discussing interrogations and confessions. In the beginning of the text the power of a confession was being put across, saying that the police prefer a confession to other types of evidence. I really was interested in learning what goes on in the interrogation rooms that they have today. The first approach explained was that of the good cop- bad cop strategy. The bad cop is usually the individual with a more threatening demeanor; said individual will express anger towards the suspect through words and non-verbal cues. In turn the good cop shows sympathy and understanding towards the suspect. There is also a strategy called the Reid technique, this technique states that there are nine steps of an interrogation. There are also four basic steps that are influenced by those nine. The first step is loss of control, during this suspects are interrogated in a small barren room, the interrogator controls every aspect of this step. The second step is called social isolation; during this step the suspect is kept away from social support and people they know. This allows the interrogator to create the social reality of said situation. The third step is certainty of guilt; during this step the interrogators are taught to cut off any of the suspects denial pleas. During this step they also use evidence ploys, which means they will cite real or fabricated evidence the establishes the suspect as guilty. I think that it is incredibly shocking that it is ok for the police are allowed to lie about evidence found. The fourth step involves constructing exculpatory scenarios. This step works by shifting the blame from the suspect to another individual and making the situation seem minimal.

Chapter three was talking about lie detection and the different types of tests and techniques used to determine if someone is lying. Interrogators are trained to read individuals verbal and non-verbal behavior to determine whether or not they are lying. But there are some non-verbal cues that interrogators are taught to read that are not proper indicators of deception, this is considered the liar’s stereotype. One of the tests that are discussed is the polygraph, which basically keeps an eye on your blood pressure and physiological reactions to questions. There are three different types of questions asked which are the following: nonarousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior in question, arousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior, and questions that are specifically arousing to the individual that committed the crime in question. A major issue with polygraph tests is that it is common to come up with false positives. I do not think that polygraphs should be used to collect information from a suspect. There are so many factors that could cause an individuals heart race to increase, and being under that pressure would be incredibly stressful for an innocent individual to undergo partially because they can lose everything if wrongly convicted.

Terms: Good cop-bad cop, interrogation, confession, Reid technique, loss of control, Social Isolation, certainty of guilt, evidence ploys, exculpatory scenarios, liars stereotype, polygraph, false positive

Chapter two in the text was discussing interrogations and confessions. In the beginning of the text the power of a confession was being put across, saying that the police prefer a confession to other types of evidence. I really was interested in learning what goes on in the interrogation rooms that they have today. The first approach explained was that of the good cop- bad cop strategy. The bad cop is usually the individual with a more threatening demeanor; said individual will express anger towards the suspect through words and non-verbal cues. In turn the good cop shows sympathy and understanding towards the suspect. There is also a strategy called the Reid technique, this technique states that there are nine steps of an interrogation. There are also four basic steps that are influenced by those nine. The first step is loss of control, during this suspects are interrogated in a small barren room, the interrogator controls every aspect of this step. The second step is called social isolation; during this step the suspect is kept away from social support and people they know. This allows the interrogator to create the social reality of said situation. The third step is certainty of guilt; during this step the interrogators are taught to cut off any of the suspects denial pleas. During this step they also use evidence ploys, which means they will cite real or fabricated evidence the establishes the suspect as guilty. I think that it is incredibly shocking that it is ok for the police are allowed to lie about evidence found. The fourth step involves constructing exculpatory scenarios. This step works by shifting the blame from the suspect to another individual and making the situation seem minimal.

Chapter three was talking about lie detection and the different types of tests and techniques used to determine if someone is lying. Interrogators are trained to read individuals verbal and non-verbal behavior to determine whether or not they are lying. But there are some non-verbal cues that interrogators are taught to read that are not proper indicators of deception, this is considered the liar’s stereotype. One of the tests that are discussed is the polygraph, which basically keeps an eye on your blood pressure and physiological reactions to questions. There are three different types of questions asked which are the following: nonarousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior in question, arousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior, and questions that are specifically arousing to the individual that committed the crime in question. A major issue with polygraph tests is that it is common to come up with false positives. I do not think that polygraphs should be used to collect information from a suspect. There are so many factors that could cause an individuals heart race to increase, and being under that pressure would be incredibly stressful for an innocent individual to undergo partially because they can lose everything if wrongly convicted.

Terms: Good cop-bad cop, interrogation, confession, Reid technique, loss of control, Social Isolation, certainty of guilt, evidence ploys, exculpatory scenarios, liars stereotype, polygraph, false positive

I was always curious about interrogations and how they worked. Of course, I have seen on TV shows the investigators flipping over the table as they are interrogating someone in order to make them confess. The most surprising thing I learned out of Chapter 2 of our textbooks is how interrogations can actually lead innocent people to confess to crimes. I find this not only surprising, but terribly wrong.
One thing I learned and found very interesting was the Reid technique of interrogation. This technique is composed of 4 basic influence strategies that make up a total of 9 steps. The 4 strategies are loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt and exculpatory scenarios. Loss of control is achieved because interrogation usually takes place in a small room with the whole interrogation is in the hands of the interrogator. The reason it is called that is, because ultimately the person in question has ultimately no control of the situation. The next is social isolation. Almost always suspects are interrogated alone. This causes suspects to be deprived of social support and help them not be able to receive any contradictory information. The third, certainty of guilt has to do with directly accusing the suspect of the crime they are asking about. The forth strategy is exculpatory scenarios, this when interrogators will offer suspects face- saving justifications or excuses for the crime.
I think the problem with false confessions is pretty awful. The story about Tom Sawyer in our book made me really sad. Basically, the police interrogated him so much that he started to believe he was the one who murdered this groundskeeper, when in actuality he had nothing to do with it at all. This is when I think interrogation definitely needs to have some boundaries. I personally don’t believe during interrogation they should be able to tell the person lies such as they found DNA evidence of the body that links them to the crime, unless they actually do. To me that just seems a little bit too far. That is why I think it is a great idea that they talked about video recording of interrogations in this chapter as well. I think it is a great idea and should be required. It would offer great evidence to what went on during the interrogation and help provide support whether the person falsely confessed and if there was any illegal violence being used on the suspect by the interrogator. That is why people should also always know when they are being interrogated. I think if they don’t know it honestly wouldn’t work as well. You want them to be under a lot of pressure in hopes that the truth might slip out if they did in fact commit the crime.
The next chapter we read about lie detection was very interesting as well. I don’t think I am a good lie detector. I am not very good at telling when really good liars are lying. If I know them really well like a friend or my boyfriend it is a lot easier. But people who detect lies aren’t going to know every person that they are working with. The book talked a lot about polygraphs. I personally don’t think they can really work. The book talks about how some people are just more psychologically aroused then others and also some people are just really good liars. I think that if a polygraph is being used that that shouldn’t be the only thing that determines if someone is guilty of a crime or not. The book also talked about confirmation bias. This is the idea that we form a strong belief about someone, we tend to both seek out information that confirms that belief and dismiss information that contradicts it. This is probably heavily used in lie detection because they want the person they have as a suspect to be the person that actually committed the crime.

Confirmation bias,polygraph, reid technique, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios.

Chapter two explains the importance of Interrogations and Confessions. It starts off by telling us the power of a confession. It is a time saver; trials can be avoided by suspects pleading guilty. Guilty suspects who confess often tell interrogators where crucial evidence can be found. But the most important reason is because a confession is the closest prosecutors can get to a guaranteed conviction.
Interrogations are one way to get criminals to confess. Interrogating can be anything from direct physical violence to covert physical torture that leaves no trace, to purely psychological means of coercion. In the early years, before 1930, the police frequently used beatings and brutality to extract confessions. This lead to more covert forms of abuse and even later more psychological. Now all suspects must be informed of their constitutional rights otherwise any confession can be excluded at trial. They are then read their Miranda rights, there are four of these: One, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” Two, “You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning.” Three, “If you cannot afford an attorney, you have the right to have an attorney appointed to you prior to questioning.” Four, “Do you understand these rights as I have explained them to you.” Surprisingly on twenty percent request to have an attorney present, the other eighty percent waive their rights and submit to full interrogation.
There can be false confessions. This is when someone confesses to a crime they have not commit. There are four types of false confessions, the first is instrumental-coerced false confessions. This is when suspects confess as a result of a long or intense interrogation. They are convinced the only way to end the interrogation or receive more lenient treatment is to agree to committing the crime. The next type is instrumental-voluntary false confessions. This is when they confess to a crime to achieve a goal. For example protecting a bigger organization or gang one may belong to. The third type is authentic-coerced false confession. This is when after a long or intense interrogation a suspect become convinced, at least temporarily, that they may have actually committed the crime. The last type is the authentic-voluntary false confession. This is when someone suffering from delusions confesses to a crime with little or no pressure.
Because of these there may be potential solutions to false confessions. Video recordings help jurors decide how much coercion occurred during the interrogation. Time limits may be specified by the courts and legislatures to reduce the risk of false confessions. The “appropriate adult” safeguard for youth during questioning is an important risk factor. This may be a lawyer or other person who is specially trained to fill this role. These all help eliminate potential false confessions and help keep the justice system honest.
Chapter three is about lie detection. There are different types of lies. There are lies of commission, which is saying something that is not true, and lies of omission, which is omitting crucial information. This chapter asks, “Can we tell when others are lying?” Studies show that a person is 54% accurate when telling truth from lies, so they are only a little bit better than chance. But lies can also be rehearsed. If they are planned out and rehearsed a suspect or perpetrator’s lies can be harder to detect. Something to help investigators would be the invention of the polygraph. The polygraph was invented by William M. Marston and it is a lie detection device that monitors physiological changes. If a person is lying it will cause a physiological arousal: heart beats faster, breathing quickens, blood pressure rises, skin moisture increases.
The process of polygraphing starts with systematic questioning. The relevant-irrelevant test (RIT) is made up of three types of questions. One, non-arousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior being investigated (e.g. “What day is it?”). Two, arousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior being investigated (e.g. “Have you ever lied to a member of your family?”). Three, relevan questions that are especially arousing for the person who actually committed the crime (e.g. “Did you kill so and so?”). This type of testing can help catch the perpetrator, however there can be false positives. Innocent people are very likely to be misclassified as guilty, the average false positive rate is 71 percent. Another type of question is the controlled question test (CQT). This is designed to correct some of the problems associated with the RIT. The CQT is the most frequently used techniques for polygraphing. An alternative polygraph-based technique is the guilty knowledge test (GKT). This test is intended to detect whether or not someone knows facts only a criminal would know. The logic is that a guilty person will recognize scenes and events from a crime that an innocent person would not recognize. Jurors generally find the results of a polygraph test as persuasive, but there are many other ways one can know. An EEG, or electroencephalogram, can help focus on the brain waves to tell if someone is lying, and even a person’s eyes can help tell on whether or not they are giving the truth.
I am not a good lie detector, because I am a very gullible person. I am extremely trusting and will believe almost anything, if there is a good story to go with it, or if a person is confident enough when the tell it. I would hope that polygraphs do a good job, but even they are not perfect, which is a scary thing, thinking that someone could be in jail because the polygraph test said they were lying when they were really innocent. Maybe they were just extremely nervous or maybe they were just trying to hide something just not the crime the police were searching for. I also believe if people did not know they were being interrogated they would be much calmer and not feel as pressured. Maybe they would accidently tell the truth about what they had done without even realizing they would have to pay the consequences. I think that is why someone wearing a wire would be a much better source, even better than the polygraph machine. They would be telling the truth because they did not think anyone would be around to hear their dirty little secret.

Terms: Interrogations, Confessions, Suspects, Interrogators, Miranda Rights, False Confession, Instrumental-Coerced False Confession, Instrumental-Voluntary False Confession, Authentic-Coerced False Confession, Authentic-Voluntary False Confession, Coercion, Appropriate Adult Safeguard, Lie Detections, Lies of Commission, Lies of Omission, Polygraph, Relevant-Irrelevant Test (RIT), False Positives, Control Question Test, Guilty Knowledge Test, Electroencephalogram.

If someone confesses to a crime most people would say that the person said they were guilty. After all what person would admit to a crime that they did not commit? However interrogators have a way of convincing some people to false confession. This can be handicapping if that person went to trial a jury heard that they confessed, even if the confession was coerced. Lie detectors and polygraphs test are not also one hundred percent right, in fact it is much lower than that, yet if an attorney presents that positive polygraph reading to a jury they are most likely to convict a person based on that false information.

If police believe that a suspect in a crime is guilty they will use any means they have to get a confession out of that person. Confessions save time for the police. If someone confesses can save he police of the time spent digging through evidence and analyzing it. If a suspect confesses they can skip a trial or at least make it less of a tedious process. Also confessions are the closest that a prosecutor is going to get to a guaranteed convictions. This is because confessions are rated as the most incriminating evidence in a trial. Confessions also have the most power in determining a verdict. This is due to the fact the confessions are not easy to ignore by a jury, even if the confession is false.

Before the 1930s police were allowed to use brutal methods to get a suspect to confess to a crime. Laws were passed that no longer allow police to use these types of measures. However, they may no longer be able to use physical means but can still use psychological means. Sleep deprivation is a common tactic used because is significantly lowers the resistance of a suspect, making them more susceptible to giving a false confession. But since 1961 if a judge finds that this tactic was used in the retrieval of a confession the confession will be inadmissible. Another way to get a confession to be inadmissible in court is if the suspect was never read their Miranda rights. If this happens anything the suspect says cannot be used in court.

In interrogations it is acceptable for police to lie to the suspect. They may be told things such as: “the murder victim pulled through and he identified you as the attacker” “The results of the polygraph test tell us that you committed the crime” or “We know you did it and any jury that sees the evidence will know you did it too”. Reading this part of the chapter made me really angry because a person hearing this when they are innocent may actually start to believe that they committed the crime. They may produce false memories or may just be telling the police what they want to hear due to the theory of respect for authority.

There are many approaches that an interrogator can use in the interrogation room. One that is used in many Law and Order episodes in the good cop-bad cop approach. This is when one cop is perceived as being understanding and sympathetic while the other is perceived as a bully. This is used in the hope that the suspect will begin to trust the good cop so when the bad cop leaved the room the suspect will confess to the good cop. Another approach is loss of control. The suspect is put in a situation where everything is controlled by the interrogator. Social isolation is also used. Suspects are almost always interrogated alone. This allows for the suspect to not get support from friends or family during the interrogation. Because of these extreme situations the suspects are put it, it can lead them to falsely confess to a crime.

Because of these problems some solutions have been proposed. One if video recording an interrogations to judges, juries, and police can look at it and decide if the confession was coerced or not. Another in introducing time limits to interrogations to reduce the risk of false confessions due to exhaustion. Even though these solutions still have problems it still brings police one step closer to eliminating convictions based of false confessions.

An interrogators job is to be able to tell when people are lying or not. But people, even trained people, are only slightly better at identifying when people are lying than a coin. Judging lying can be difficult because sometimes criminals have time to rehearse their lies which makes them harder to detect. Also conformation bias can come into play. If an officer believes a suspect in guilty than they are more likely to look for signs to confirm that. This can falsely lead them to believe that a suspect is lying.

Polygraphs test are used in order to tell whether a person is lying or telling the truth. Polygraphs measure the physiological responses in a person and when paired with questions claims to be able to judge when a person was telling a lie. However this method can produce false positives and there are ways to cheat the system. Such as using counter-measures. By pressing your foot to the ground or biting your tongue during the control question can make the physiological. Another question that comes with polygraphs is are they ethical. Many people say no since they can give false positives but can still be used in court, in some situations.

An alternative to the polygraph test is the guilt knowledge test. This test is used to see if a suspect knows information about a crime that only the criminal would know. FMRI’s and EEG’s can also be used to see what areas in the brain are active during lying to see if those areas are active when a suspect answers a question.

If people did not know they were being interrogated then they would not answer questions based on their anxiety level. You would probably get more honest and truthful answers since it is not a high stress situation. This would lead to less false confessions and save a suspect a lot of trauma and save police a lot of time. Also this would reduce the amount of answers that are given to please authority.

After reading these chapters I know longer think that I am a good lie detector. Since people act differently in different situations it would be hard to tell when a person is lying. Physiological symptoms that are attribute to lying can also appear because of stress and anxiety so you cannot always link them to lying. I think that very few people are good lie detectors because so many of the cues vary from person to person and situation to situation. Many symptoms are also subjective.

Terms: Respect for authority, confirmation bias, attorneys, physiological symptoms, interrogated, fMRI, EEG, polygraph, control question, confession, prosecution, jury, inadmissible, ethical, guilty knowledge test

Chapter 2 starts off by talking about a rape that had been committed towards Trisha Mellini. The police then interrogated five teenagers who had committed this awful crime. They gave their confessions and was convicted of the crime. The messed up thing about it was that years later, they found out that there confessions were false and the charges were exonerated. They ask the question of how would someone innocent make up these false confessions and be punished for something they had nothing to do with. The power of a confession is huge during a case. It can be the difference from guilty and not guilty. Somewhere between 39%-49% of suspects make full confessions when interrogated by the police. The book believes that sometimes, the confessions made by suspects are forced out by the fundamental attribution error, which is the tendency to attribute other people;s behavior to dispositional causes and to dismiss the situational pressure acting on the person. When defense attorneys believe that has happened, they argue that the confession was coerced by police and should therefore not be admitted at trial. Then the chapter explains the evolution of interrogation techniques from how it evolved from torture to get a confession, to psychological coercion. In 1966, in the Miranda vs Arizona trial, every person detained by police is read aloud their Miranda rights and can either waive those rights or exercise them. Only 20% of people choose to exercise their rights. It then talks about what happens inside the interrogation room and the strategies they use. Like the good cop-bad cop approach, in which they use two interrogators, one good cop and one bad. Reid technique that has nine steps to interrogate. Social isolation, where suspects are almost always interrogated alone. The next strategies are certainty of guilt, when the interrogators say that they know you committed the crime. And exculpatory scenarios when the interrogator finds justifications for the crimes committed. The police sometimes force false confessions, leading to false convictions like they did to Thomas Sawyer, a witness of a murder. He came in for questioning and had suffered from anxiety so he was very nervous. They then led him to believe that he had committed the murder. Sometimes the police coerce to much that they do not convict the right criminals and corrupts the minds of innocent people who are coerced to believe they have committed a crime. I do not think that the police should be allowed to lie like they do to get a confession because sometimes, the psychological aspects of confessions make innocent people make false confession. Then the real perpetrators are not convicted. Interrogations are essential to investigations, but there needs to be more changes or better ways for police to get confessions (the true confessions) out of the suspects.

Chapter 3 is about lie detection and begins by talking about the earliest form of lie detection where they boil your arm, and if after three days, the burns were not infected, you were not guilty. The chapter then talks about how lying is an evolutionary adaptation and it is needed to survive. Everyone lies and there are many different ways of doing that. I believe that people are lie detectors if you know the person fairly well. People tend to be more use to what people they know do when they are telling them something. If something seems out of the ordinary, they might suspect that that person is deceiving them. So I believe people can be lie detectors, they've got a 50/50 chance of being right. I thought it was interesting that 70% of people believe that when a person is lying, they tend to avert their gaze, squirm, touch themselves more, and stutter. Those are just some of the liar's stereotypes, but there are probably a lot more factors that come into play. I think polygraphs are very ineffective because although it is based on physiological movement, that person may just be nervous because they are doing a polygraph test. Again, a lot of different factors come into play. Many people feel a lot more stress when giving these tests, guilty or not guilty. Using countermeausres, thwarting the polygraph, it reduced the detection of guilty suspects by 50%. Research on the polygraph says it catches about 77% of the guilty suspects, exonerate 70% of innocent suspects, fail to catch about 21% and falsely accuse 16%. Those numbers to me, seem to uneven. If a polygraph says that they were lying, the jurors will be more than likely believe he is lying. Now they are trying to find lying in the brain with fMRI's and find lying in the eyes with high-definition infrared thermal imaging, eye movement memory assessment, and laser doppler vibrometry. I think that people can tell if people are lying and that they should find a more effective way to detect someones lies.

Terms: countermeasures, eye movement memory assessment, high-definition infrared thermal imaging, laser doppler vibrometry, liar's stereotype, polygraph, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios, fundamental attribution error, good cop-bad cop approach, loss of control, Miranda rights, Reid technique.

Lie detection, law enforcement interrogations, polygraphs, etc. can all be used to help us understand and decode what is the truth. The topic of understanding the truth is covered thoroughly in both chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 2 explores the science and psychology behind the criminal interrogation. Being a Criminology major, I have taken a whole semester course over police interviews and interrogations. For someone who has never experienced or researched a law enforcement type interrogation, there is more to it that is shown on Law & Order. The simple set-up of the room can have a huge impact on the willingness of the suspect or witness to cooperate. For example, placing yourself in between the suspect and the closed door to the interrogation room often makes the witness uncomfortable and guilty, as well as cornered. Something as simple as this can impact the suspects mood and psychology, and eventually their willingness to cooperate and provide valid evidence.
Chapter 3 to a more in-depth look at ways of detecting lies. I found all the types and technologies for detecting lies to be very interesting. We have all heard story’s about a polygraph machine, but a “high-definition infrared thermal imaging” device for detecting lies through someones eyes? That a new one! The amount of technology and strategies created to detect lies is amazing. One can only imagine other technologies for detecting human lies that aren’t available or knowledgeable to the public. While the gizmos like eye and retinal detection of lies is amazing and intriguing, it's also a reality check to think of the negatives that have taken place that supplied such a demand for machines to detect lies; goes to show the amount humans lie is quite abundant.
It's hard to guess whether or not I am good at detecting if someone is lying, normally because people don't naturally lay down and admit when they have been caught in a lie by another individual. I do tend to notice facial confusion and stuttering. For me that shows someone is searching for an answer; obviously because the correct answer is the forbidden truth. In any instance, I hope over the course of my career I will become an expert at detecting lies, especially those criminal in nature.
As I stated earlier, one of the main topics covered in Chapter 3 was polygraphs, and there use in detecting lies for a number of reasons. In the criminal justice system, polygraph tests are a staple in the hiring process. From applying to be a Federal Agent with the FBI to applying for the position of the local Deputy; you can guarantee a polygraph test will be someone in that application process. Everyone has their own views on the test. The court systems don't deem the polygraph test as admissible evidence in a court of law. However, the majority of law enforcement agencies trust the results of the polygraph test to decide on who is best suitable for hire. For example, the Iowa State Patrol administers a polygraph test in phase 5 of their hiring process. During this particular polygraph test the instructor will ask you if you have ever goggled “how to beat a polygraph test”-- if you have you will be terminated from the hiring process as a result. The reasoning and logic behind a polygraph test is simple and blunt; humans lie and the majority of us can't detect those lies with the naked eye. The polygraph test is just one tool in the whole tool bag of techniques and technologies that can help separate truth from lies.
Interrogations just like polygraphs are normally voluntary. The person who allows the testing or interrogation knows they will be questioned on what is true from what is false. In saying that, the majority of us know when we are being interrogated. Does this effect our psychology or responses? I'm sure it does. It would be natural to mentally prepare for the questions or interrogation. If we didn't it wouldn't be normal. If I was interrogated in a police station I'm sure I would produce different answers then if I was simply confronted with the same questions by a stranger on the street. Knowing that one is being interrogated or questioned would produce the same nervous, anxiety as being accused for a crime.

Key Terms: Psychology, polygraph test, eye lie detection, interrogation, questioned, Iowa State Patrol, FBI, retinal detection, lie detecting technology, techniques, police interviews.

Chapter 2 begins with an example of a confession that seemed to be coerced out of 6 boys about a rape. The real perpetrator was eventually confirmed with DNA evidence. The big question raised for this chapter is how many confessions are actually reliable, and how can the criminal justice system make obtaining a confession as ethical as possible?
The chapter goes on to talk about how police like to obtain a confession because it is the fastest way to solve a case and doesn't involve a lot of research or investigation. Sometimes, as seen in the previous paragraph, a false confession is the result because of the technique of the police officer. The techniques of obtaining a confession have come a long way over the decades. In the past, there were several violent techniques, such as almost drowning and holding them over a high place. After the Miranda Rights came into effect, the suspects had more rights and it seemed to be more fair in regards to interrogating. It is very surprising to me, however, how many people wave their Miranda Rights, either not wanting to call attention to themselves if they are guilty or not thinking they need a lawyer because they are not guilty. There are 2 types of modern techniques that are used today: good-cop bad-cop and the Reid Technique. I am familiar with good-cop bad-cop routine, as this is demonstrated on many cop television shows. I learned a lot about the Reid Technique and the 9 strategies involved.
The next part of the chapter discusses problems with confessions that are false. I felt so bad for the man who, in my opinion, was taken advantage of. He had very bad social anxiety, and the police played on this as well as his willingness to aid them in their investigation. I then learned about the 4 types of false confessions, which are: instrumental-coerced false confessions (which is when the person thinks that admitting to the crime is the way to end the interrogation), instrumental-voluntary false confessions (when the person is trying to protect someone else and take the blame instead), authentic-coerced false confessions (when a suspect is coerced into believing the committed the crime), & authentic-voluntary false confessions (involves delusional individuals who think they committed the crime).
Lastly, chapter 2 discusses whether or not the police should be able to lie to gain confessions. This is such a sensitive topic because presenting false criminating evidence to a suspect can bring out a confession, but to what extent? The text also discusses that if the police lies in these situations, the public may lose faith in the justice system as a whole. There were a few techniques mentioned in order to keep the falsifying on track, involving video recordings of interrogations, time limits on the interrogations, and always having an adult present with a minor.
Chapter 3 was all about lie detecting and polygraph tests. I thought is was a very interesting tid-bit that the same man who created the polygraph also created Wonder Woman. There are certain techniques related to polygraphing, the first of which is the relevant-irrelevant test, which involves asking irrelevant questions, such as the date, the person's name, then more arousing questions, like if they have ever committed a crime or told a lie, then direct questions related to the crime are asked. The control question test is a better version of the relevant-irrelevant test that involves asking "control questions" which are broad questions that are expected to be answered "yes" by everyone. After reading about the weaknesses and research of polygraphs, i learned that often times people who commit crimes are numb to physiological reactions, and polygraph situations are not very standardized, which doesn't help with control factors. According to research in the text and mock crimes, polygraphs are correct with 77 % of guilty people. This is higher than I expected, but i still don't think this is enough to rely on.
In regards to your question, I believe I am a very skilled detector of lies. I think this is partly because I don't trust anyone, and assume it is a lie until they prove me wrong. I have also been lied to a lot, and I know what kind of behavior is associated with this. I think in order to be a cop, you need to have a good sense of people and how to read them. I don't believe this is something that can be learned, rather it is an inborn skill.
In closing, the rest of chapter 3 discussed the use of polygraph evidence in the court room, which is inconsistent in my opinion and just depends on the decision of the judge. It also seems like the polygraph has a better chance of making it into court if it is obtained before the trial begins. There are a few other tests that are discussed in the end of the chapter, including: the guilty knowledge test, which represents details that only a criminal would know based on pictures or situational questions of the crime, fMRI's, which show blood flow in the brain when asked certain questions of the crime, EEG's, that read neural impulses when asked certain questions related to the crime, and lastly, a test involving medical evidence for "shifty eyes".
Terms: confessions, Miranda Rights, Good-Cop Bad-Cop, Reid Technique, instrumental-coerced false confessions, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, authentic-coerced false confessions, authentic-voluntary false confessions, polygraph, relevant-irrelevant test, control question test, guilty knowledge test, fMRI, EEG, shifty eyes

Chapters 2 and 3 focused on interrogating suspects and ways that interrogations are done, for example lie detection. Something I found interesting about interrogations was the fact that police sometimes lies and uses other ways to get a suspect to confess to committing a crime. For example, they may tell a suspect that a fictional witness identified him/her at the scene of the crime. I learned that there are different ways in getting confessions out of suspects. One way is the good cop-bad cop approach. This involves having one cop act as the ‘bad cop’ (they act more intimidating and show anger towards the suspect), while the other cop acts as the ‘good cop’ (they act less intimidating and seem more concerned and understanding of the suspect being interrogated). The idea in this is that the suspect will eventually confess to the ‘good cop’, once the ‘bad cop’ is out of the room. Another technique is called the Reid technique. This involves 4 basic strategies in getting a suspect to confess: 1. Loss of control (the suspect is removed from any psychology comfort of familiar surroundings), 2. Social isolation (the suspect is interrogated alone), 3. Certainty of guilt (using a direct accusation towards the suspect), 4. Exculpatory scenarios (shifting the blame from the suspect to someone else (the victim)).
The problem with interrogations is that this leads to many false confessions. There are several types of false confessions, and four of them have been used in actual cases. Instrumental-coerced false confessions occur when a suspect confesses to a crime they know they did not commit. Instrumental-voluntary false confessions occur when a suspect knowingly confesses to a crime they did not commit in order to gain some type of fame. Authentic-coerced false confessions occur when a suspect becomes convince they committed a crime & authentic-voluntary false confessions occur when someone is mentally ill or suffers from delusions and confesses with no pressure.
Chapter 3 was all about lie detection and how people are labeled as lying. The liar stereotype occurs when people view cues such as crossing their legs or shifting their body as indicators of lying. To try and get rid of this stereotype that everyone holds, the polygraph was invented. When a polygraph test is administered it must be done alongside a set of questions. There are a few different ways/strategies in administering a polygraph test and the relevant-irrelevant test (RIT) is one way. The RIT uses three types of questions; 1. Nonarousing questions 2. Arousing questions 3. Relevant questions to the crime. The purpose of this is that a person would normally show stronger reactions to relevant questions. The con with the RIT is the amount of false positives which happens when innocent people are misclassified as guilty. Another procedure is the control question test (CQT) strategy. This involves the use of control questions which are questions not related to the crime, also known as “known lie” questions. The idea is that an innocent suspect will react more strongly to control questions, while a guilty suspect will react more strongly to relevant questions. One type of questioning strategy I found to be interesting and seemed to be the best type was the guilty knowledge test (GKT). This involves asking questions of facts of a case that only a criminal would know. If the suspect reacts strongly to the questions, it shows that they were there at the crime.

I don’t think I am or would be a very good lie detector. If I had the use of a polygraph and could depend more on the machine, I think I would be better at reading the results, but to decide if someone is lying at face value, I think I would be easily persuaded. I also don’t think I would be a very good interrogator because I would eventually get tired of the hours of questioning and would take the person’s word after a certain amount of time. I think a person has to be very good at not only reading others’ nonverbal signs, but they cannot be easily persuaded. They have to be able to think logically and think from all aspects, while at the same time being open-minded. When it comes to being interrogated in an actual interrogation room. I feel that the word “interrogating” means something different than “questioning”. When someone is being interrogated they will know that they are because of the environment and the way they are being questioned, whereas if someone is just being asked questions they will be treated in a different manner. I believe that interrogating someone should be done with respect and unless there is sufficient evidence against someone when they are being questions, I don’t see the point in using false information to try and trap someone into making a confession. There were many things I learned after reading these chapters, and I feel I have a different outlook on interrogation and lie detection after reading the chapters. Before I was all for the idea, but after reading all of the flaws in the systems, I think there needs to be more research done to better the questioning techniques used in the legal system.

Key Terms: interrogation, instrumental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary, authentic coerced, authentic voluntary, Reid technique, polygraph, guilty knowledge test, control question test, relevant irrelevant test

Chapter 2 focuses on interrogations and confessions in the legal system. The chapter starts off with a story about a girl who was raped in Central Park and barely survived. The police interrogated 6 suspects for the crime, 5 of which eventually confessed to the rape and gave detailed descriptions of the event. As it turned out however, all of the young men’s confessions were actually false. I feel that this story is a good example of why even confessions should be taken with suspicion to their accuracy.

The chapter explains that confessions are a very powerful tool in a trial, mostly due to the fact that juries have a difficult time discounting confessions, even if they are false. The book explains this by describing the fundamental attribution error, which is the tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to dispositional causes, such as traits or personality, and to dismiss the situational pressures acting on the person. I feel that this relates well to social psychology, as it shows how much of an influence people’s expectations can have on a person’s behavior in certain situations. One part of this chapter that I found particularly interesting was the description of what interrogations tended to involve prior to 1961. The techniques that the chapter describes for obtaining a confession seem particularly brutal and I would describe many of them to be on the verge of torture at the very least. It surprised me that policies like this would be allowed.

The chapter also spends a section describing the problems that false confessions can cause. In this section, another story is told of a problematic false confession. The story told of Thomas Sawyer’s false confession to raping and eventually killing his neighbor worried me. One of the primary reasons that Sawyer was accused was due to the fact that he suffered from a severe social anxiety disorder, and thus exhibited a nervous attitude that led the police to believe that he was guilty. The police kept pressuring Sawyer to confess and eventually he broke and confessed to a crime that he didn’t commit. This story shows how easy it can be for a person to falsely confess to s crime, whether it be to police pressure during interrogations, or due to memory issues. This section also listed a surprising statistic that approximately 25% of known wrongful convictions involve false confessions, most of which occurred during murder cases (80%).

Chapter 2 spends the rest of its time discussing ways that interrogations can be made more reliable and how confessions can be gauged to determine whether they are true.

Chapter 3 discusses the subject of lie detection. This chapter was particularly interesting to me, as many of the methods discussed in it are shown frequently in tv shows and movies involving lie detection. The chapter begins discussing how unreliable an average person’s gauge on whether a person is lying can be, with an accuracy of about 54%. It also discusses the liar’s stereotype, which says that people tend avoid eye contact, squirm, touch themselves, and stutter when lying. This part stood out to me due to the story in Chapter 2 about Thomas Sawyer and how he exhibited all of these behaviors while being interrogated due to the fact that he suffered from a severe social anxiety disorder. Another reason why telling whether a person is lying can be difficult is due to confirmation bias. Confirmation bias occurs because people tend to form a strong belief about someone and then actively seek out information that confirms that belief, while avoiding any that contradicts it. Chapter 3 then goes on to discuss various measures for lie detection, such as the polygraph, fMRI scans, and EEG scans. The chapter explains why polygraph tests can be unreliable and why fMRI and EEG scans are typically used in its place. I have been told about the wavering reliableness of polygraph tests in other classes, so it wasn’t that surprising to me when I read about it in this chapter but it certainly was when I first learned about it.

Personally, I would like to believe that I am decent at recognizing when someone is telling a lie. This is most likely due to my own ego more than anything else though. I feel that the best way to measure whether someone is telling the truth will always be using a test, like the fMRI scan. Overall, this chapter was very interesting, and expanded on subjects about lie detection that were only lightly addressed in previous classes.

Terms: interrogations, confessions, lie detection, false confession, fundamental attribution error, social psychology, social anxiety disorder, liar’s stereotype, confirmation bias, polygraph, fMRI, EEG

Chapter 2 began by discussing how powerful and influential confessions can be. I had always assumed that confessions were the best at proving who was innocent and guilty; after reading this chapter I have realized there are some problems with confessions. There are two main reasons as to why police like confessions; first they save time and trails can be avoided because suspects usually plead guilty, second confessions may be the closest prosecutors can get to a guaranteed conviction. Even though confessions are influential it is important to examine what can cause errors in a confession. Fundamental Attribution is the tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to dispositional causes and to dismiss the situational pressures acting on the person. We basically tend to underestimate the power of situational forces. Before a suspect is questioned and taken into police custody they are read their Miranda Rights, I thought it was interesting that 20% of suspects exercise their rights while 80% waive their rights and allow themselves to be interrogated without an attorney. I thought this was interesting because if an attorney is present errors in the interrogation may not be as likely to show up.

A scenario we see all the time in movies and crime shows is the concept of good cop, bad cop. When this is occurring two interrogators work as a team, the bad cop appears to be intimidating while the good cop shows sympathy to the suspect. Eventually the bad cop leaves the room and the suspect feels more comfortable to confess to the good cop. Another technique that is used is referred to as the Reid techniques. There are four fundamental strategies; loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios. These are the steps that are used when a suspect is being interrogated.

The most interesting part of chapter two was the section that discussed the problem of false confessions. Thomas Sawyer suffered from severe social anxiety, thus when he was being interrogated he expressed physiological cues that convinced the interrogators that he was guilty. After a 16 hour interrogation Sawyer began to believe that he committed the crime, even though he really didn’t. This is an example of what occurs if a suspect is intimidated, deceived, fatigued, or abused. Eventually evidences proved that he was innocent. This shows how important it is to understand the person’s mental and physical state when they are being interrogated. I can see how easy it would be for an individual to believe they committed the crime when interrogators are so adamant that they did, especially if they are interrogated for a long period of time.

Some types of false confessions are; mental-coerced this occurs as a result of a long or intense interrogation, the suspect confesses to the crime they didn’t commit. Instrumental-voluntary occurs when suspects knowingly implicate themselves in crimes they did not commit an effort to achieve some goal. While authentic coerced is when a product of a long or intense interrogation the suspect believes they committed the crime. All of these express why interrogators need to follow certain criteria to ensure that they get a confession from the individual who committed the crime.

I have always thought that I am able to figure out if someone is lying. This is probably because I typically know the person. I find it easier to tell if someone is lying if I know their personality characteristics. For example I can always tell if my sister is lying based on her body language, she tends to fidget a lot when she is lying. However I do not think it is easy to tell if someone I do not know is lying as I do not know anything about them. Everyone handle lying differently, we all experience different physiological changes. Confirmation bias occurs when flawed interpretation of a suspect’s verbal and nonverbal behavior. Also if an interrogator believes a suspect is guilty, confirmation bias may be triggered. I think polygraphs are helpful in cases however they are not 100% accurate. The polygraph is based on the idea that when people lie their hearts beat faster, their breathing quickens, their blood pressure rises, and their skin moisture increases. The weaknesses are that some people are emotionally nonreactive thus they do not show physiological changes. Also, there is no guarantee that innocent people will not react strongly to questions about whether they committed a crime. And lastly if the person being tested does not have faith in the validity of the polygraph, they will not respond in the way examiners suppose they will. I think suspects are being interrogated right when police bring them into custody. After their read the Miranda Rights police begin to question the suspect. If the suspect does not realize what they are saying will be used against them they may say things that imply they committed the crime when in reality they didn’t. Thus I think it is important for suspects to be told exactly when they are being interrogated.

Terms: confession, fundamental attribution, Miranda rights, good cop – bad cop approach, Reid technique, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios, mental-coerced false confession, instrumental-voluntary false confession, authentic-coerced false confession, authentic-voluntary false confession, confirmation bias, polygraph,

Chapter two is all about the techniques used by police in the interrogation room and the psychological effects of the techniques on criminal suspects. First off, the chapter talks about the power of a confession. The whole goal of questioning a suspect is to hopefully get a confession, but only between 39% and 48% of interrogations lead to full confessions. The police prefer confessions because they save time, trials can be avoided, and a confession puts the suspect on a direct route to conviction. Research has been done on confessions and other incriminating evidence to see what effect they had on conviction rates. It was found that confessions were significantly higher than eyewitness testimony, which is the second most powerful type of evidence. This shows that confessions can be some of the most important evidence that can be found because it is almost guaranteed that the suspect will be convicted and incarcerated. Studies have also found that when a suspect gives a false confession and DNA evidence proves they did not commit the crime, then plead not guilty, the jurors have a hard time recognizing that the confession was false. This can be explained by the fundamental attribution error, which is the tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to traits/personalities and to dismiss the situational pressures acting on the person. So basically, when we are analyzing another person’s behavior we tend to underestimate the power of situational forces. Next, the chapter talks about the evolution of interrogation techniques. The techniques used in interrogation have become more sophisticated and pretty much moved away from physical violence and instead to psychological coercion. Police used to beat and torture suspects for confessions. This transformed into using forms of abuse that did not leave a physical trace, such as deprivation, isolation and intimidation. Sleep deprivation lowers the resistance of the suspects, and so does holding out on giving them food or water. Since then we have no moved away from using physical means to get a confession largely due to the Miranda rights where there are four parts: you have the right to remain silent, you have the right to an attorney, if you cannot afford an attorney one will be provided, do you understand these rights? If the suspect has not been read their Miranda rights, a confession can be rejected in trial. To determine if the confession was voluntary or not, judges must look at the totality of circumstances. This is a decision that is based on all the surrounding facts that give context to the case. Next they talk about the modern interrogation room. There is a good cop-bad cop approach, where two interrogators work as a team. The bad cop shows anger with the suspect and says that he should receive the most severe punishment. Then the good cop will show the suspect sympathy and understanding. The Reid technique gives the nine steps of interrogation. The four influence strategies are loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios. There are four types of false confessions. The first is the instrumental-coerced false confession where after a long interrogation, suspects confess to crimes they know they did not commit, which is the most common false confession. Next is the instrumental-voluntary false confession where suspects knowingly implicate themselves in crimes they did not commit in an effort to achieve some goal. Someone in a gang might do this to protect someone more higher up in rank. The authentic-coerced false confession occurs when a suspect becomes convinced that they may have actually committed the crime. Last is the authentic-voluntary false confession in which someone suffering from delusions or being mentally unstable confesses to a crime with little pressure from integration. There are a few possible solutions to help with false confessions. Video recording the interrogations can help determine if there has been a false confession, along with time limits set on interrogations. It also may be beneficial to have expert testimony on a suspect’s interrogation and confession to help determine whether it was false.

Chapter 3 is all about lie detection which goes along with chapter 2. The polygraph is a device where people have a blood pressure cuff around the arm, and electrodes attached to fingers. This machine monitored physiological changes. The act of lying causes physiological changes, which are caught by the detectors. The process of polygraphing is very complex, and includes the relevant-irrelevant test, and the control question test. The RIT uses 1 non-arousing question that is not relevant to the investigation, 1 arousing question that is not relevant to the investigation, then 1 arousing question that is related to the investigation. The CQT is based on physiological reactions while lying will be higher as compared to those while telling the truth. An alternative to the polygraph is the guilty knowledge test (GKT). This is intended to detect whether or not someone knows facts only a criminal would know. A guilty person will recognize scenes and events from the crime, and an innocent person will not recognize. An emotionless liar or an anxious truth-teller can fool the polygraph. A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the human brain is used to help understand lying. The electroencephalogram (EEG) can also be used to help determine lying. The EEG is a lot older technology compared to the fMRI, in which it can determine when a change in activity occurs and not where.

I thought the most interesting information from the chapters were false confessions. I find it hard to believe that someone would just falsely confess to a crime, like how the kids who confessed to beating and raping the woman who was jogging through the park. It didn’t state whether they all had some mental state, but I just couldn’t understand why each one of them would conform to each other and say that they did it. I really wish someone had questioned them after the man who really did it confessed. I think I’m a decent lie detector, like when I’m with my friends I can usually tell when they are lying or joking around and lying. Or when I meet someone new, I can usually tell when they are the “one up guy” in which they always have done something just that much better than you, but you can always tell that they are trying to fit in, but they are just lying. I think anyone can be a pretty good lie detector as long as you know people pretty well. If someone isn’t acting like they usually do, you know they are probably lying. I personally think polygraphs cross people’s personal boundaries and rights because they technically go inside your mind and body. They trap your inner feelings and emotions and put them on paper. Of course, they need to be used on certain people, whether it’s used in an interview for an important job, or whether it’s used on a suspect. But overall I think they are an invasion on the privacy of the mind. I also don’t think people always know when they are being interrogated. It can be hid very easily, which makes people very vulnerable. If people always knew that they were being interrogated, it would make people quick to put up their social guard and not open up to random people.

Terms: fundamental attribution error, Miranda rights, good cop/bad cop, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios, instrumental-coerced false confession, instrumental-voluntary, polygraph, RIT, CQT, GKT, fMRI, EEG,

In the chapters this week we covered interrogations and confessions and in chapter three we covered lie detection. These chapters are interrelated as they all deal with the subject matter of obtaining evidence (in the form of confessions) that can be used to expedite a case. In chapter two they list several studies that show just how important a confession could be to a case. There were studies were subjects that were under the pretense a willing confession was given over say an eye witness statement I believe doubled the rate of conviction over that of the eye witness statement! Yet just like an eyewitness statement, there are ways confessions can be tampered with. One way being a false confession, which has a suspect who didn’t commit the crime confess to doing so. Why would someone do that though?
The reasons become clear in the four types of false confessions. The first being the instrumental false coerced confession, which has the suspect confess to the crime to just end the interrogation/ gain a lenient sentence because of how long and stressful the interrogation is. The next being an instrumental voluntary false confession, where the suspect has something to gain or a goal to achieve by confessing; this is usually seen in gangs where a lower member takes a fall for someone higher up. Thirdly we have the authentic coerced false confession where the suspect over the course of a long arduous interrogation becomes convinced that they actually committed the crime. This was exemplified in the case in the chapter about the jogger, where the teens all confessed when it wasn’t them. Finally there is the authentic voluntary false confession, which has someone usually suffering from some delusion of sorts to confess to a crime with no pressure what so ever. It’s the final type that leads into the next problem with confessions and that’s how easy it would seem to get a false confession. If someone suffered from an anxiety disorder and they’re pulled into an interrogation they’d be better off thrown to the lion’s den. Hyperbole aside, because of their condition the suspect could be fidgety, sweating, etc and the interrogators would either presume the suspect is lying (which would be a liar’s stereotype) or they’d pick up on that weakness and induce more stress till they confessed. Still that bears in mind what if the suspect is lying, what can be done to differentiate truth from fiction?
The idea that people can be trained to detect lies seems rather overconfident to me in general. I feel the idea correlates the overconfidence of eyewitness’s because they feel they “know” their memory, an interrogator will “know” someone fidgeting is lying, they’re guilty case closed. That’s why there are other options to back it up like the Polygraph test. We’ve all seen it in a movie or crime drama. A suspect is hooked up to a machine and is asked questions to determine if they’re lying or not. Over the years there has been several styles of questioning used in the polygraph testing. One type is the relevant-irrelevant test (RIT), which ask a series of irrelevant questions like how is the weather etc to be non arousing. The after a series of those a relevant question is asked to essentially trip up the subject to either catch them in a lie or to have them admit to an accusation while their mind is elsewhere. The problem with this kind of test is it leads to a high number of “false positives” or innocent people that are classed as being guilty of the crime. The second kind of test is called a control question test (CQT), it’s based on the idea that you’ll have some sort of elevated emotion when lying so it asks control questions that bring some sort of discomfort and a incredibly broad. So that when they answer no and are most likely lying they have a comparison to the relevant questions and can then determine whether they are the culprit or not.
Overall I found this chapter to be really interesting. I myself can usually tell when people lie, but I wouldn’t say I could tell one hundred percent of the time. Polygraphs I believe serve a purpose in the criminal justice system, but I believe that with it being exposed to the mass media that people are learning to cheat the system (as with all things). As for some people being good at detecting lies, I would say it’s a good possibility that there are. Some people are excellent at reading body language and non-verbal ques just as there are people that suffer from foot in mouth disease. I feel that people know when they’re being interrogated because there is the change in body language and the wording/sound of the questions (I haven’t been interrogated myself), but that’s how I feel it would differ from a straight up questioning.
Terms: CQT, RIT, Social anxiety disorder, polygraph, liars stereotype, false confession instrumental false coerced confession, instrumental voluntary false confession, instrumental voluntary false confession, authentic voluntary false confession

Chapter two discussed interrogations and confessions, it started out with a story of Trisha Meili and how she was jogging and was then beaten and raped. There were five boys who confessed to the crime and were sentenced anywhere from 5-15 years in prison. Later, a man said that he was the one who raped and beat her, the boys were then released from prison. They had made a false confession; I do not understand why people take the blame for others actions, and I don’t think I ever will.
Over the years police interrogation techniques are much better, they used to be direct physical violence, then physical torture that leaves to trace, to psychological means of coercion. Before the 1930’s police would exhibit force and brutal attacks, this was an ineffective way of interrogating because if they did have the wrong suspect then they may fess up to a crime that they did not commit, so the beatings would stop. In 1931 they started using a method that allowed police to be aggressive up until the point where it would leave a mark. This also lead law to persuade the suspect into telling them what THEY wanted to hear.
Things have gotten much better in recent years, we have now developed a system that allows police to review the rights with a suspect, called the Miranda Rights, and they no longer use beatings for confessions. The system has come up with other methods for interrogation such as, good cop-bad cop approach. This is when the “bad cop” through words and nonverbal behavior shows his anger with the lying suspect and expresses his belief that the suspect should receive the most severe punishment possible. The “good-cop” will show the suspect sympathy and understanding, and the ultimate goal is to get the suspect to confess with the good cop because they feel secure. Attachment is one of the four things necessary to a human. They need someone to bond to, and they are more likely to bond with someone who seems like they care for them than with a person who is mean and putting them down. Therefore this is why the method works, in most cases. The first step of interrogation is built on loss of control. This is where the suspect has no control over anything, and everything is controlled by the interrogator. The loss of control leads the suspect to feel vulnerable, anxious, and off balance. The second strategy of interrogation is social isolation. Which is where they are interrogated alone, and it’s done in order to deprive the suspect of emotional support. These first two strategies focus on the conditions created for the interrogation. Sensory and Perception come into play here because of the type of new environment they are placed in. It may make them feel uneasy and on edge.
I was surprised by how police can interrogate a suspect and could end up getting a confession out of them that may be false. There are several types of false confessions such as mental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary, authentic-coerced, and authentic-voluntary false confession.
Police can end up shaping their memory by lying and saying things that are not true. They may also contaminate their memory. This is what happened to Thomas Sawyer. He was lead to make a false confession because the police had bad interrogation techniques. About 25% of known wrongful convictions involve false confessions. I personally do not think interrogators should be allowed to lie. In 1986 Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) made it illegal to trick suspects or lie about evidence as a means of getting suspects to confess. I also believe that the equal-focus camera perspective is a great thing used in court. This is also a method that enables jurors to see both the suspect and the interrogator with the interrogation and determine the voluntariness of the confession. Hopefully these methods put in place with the law will help people like Sawyer in the future.
Normally I can tell if a person is lying or not because of the way they act and their facial expressions. If they are lying then normally they try to avoid eye contact, etc. I can especially tell if a family member or friend that is close to me is lying because they may have certain habits that they do when lie and since I have been around them so much it is easy for me to pick up and notice. For instance, when my mom lies she makes a facial expression that she is unaware of. I do not think that everyone could be a good lie detector, but I do think that most people can…especially if they have the right training, tools, and resources.
A polygraph is something that is talked about a lot in this chapter. I have heard of this process before and know a little bit about it because my dad is a polygraph examiner, but I never knew a ton about it. So this section was the most interesting to me because I was able to gain insight into what my dad actually does.
A polygraph is just mainly a lot of questions asked and a machine monitors physiological changes by having a blood pressure cuff, and electrodes on the fingers, etc. The most commonly used procedures are the relevant-irrelevant test (RIT) which consists of three types of questions: 1) non-arousing irrelevant questions 2) arousing irrelevant question 3) relevant questions that are especially arousing for the person. They are asked in a specific order—a nonarousing irrelevant question, then a relevant question, then an arousing irrelevant question. Therefore if a person did commit a crime then the strength of the physiological responses should be stronger than reactions to the arousing irrelevant questions. The studies over the RIT have showed a high rate of false positives, which is when innocent people are very likely to be misclassified as guilty. Another type of questioning method is the control question test (CQT) which is the most common method. Although this seems like a great idea, we can not just strictly rely on a polygraph to determine the fate of a person’s outcome. There certain types of people that this test may not work on. For an example... if a person is emotionally reactive such as a psychopath or a fearless person, etc. There have been research done on polygraph some researches develop mock crimes in order to get their data. Something that I was surprised by in this chapter was the EEG. I did not know that it could be used to detect lies.
Key Terms- equal-focus camera perspective, mental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary, authentic-coerced, and authentic-voluntary false confession, police and criminal evidence act, sensory psychology, perception psychology, social isolation, loss of control, good cop-bad cop approach, voluntary confession, false confession, polygraph, relevant-irrelevant test, control question test, mock crimes, EEG

Chapters two and three discuss lie detection and interrogation. Chapter two starts with the story of a woman who was brutally beaten and raped. 5 to 6 young men confessed to committing the rape but it was found out that their onfessions were utterly false and they were exonerated. This just goes to show you that even confessions may not be all that accurate, so that is why police need to perform interrogations.

Interrogations are a very important tool to police forces. When interrogating a suspect the interrogater has some limitations and guidlines they need to follow to get the oh so desired confession from the suspect. Leads, evidence, and questioning of witnesses and suspects are what lead to a conviction. Confessions are more preferable by the police force because they are a real time saver and don't require a drawn out trial if the suspect pleads guilty. The chapter discusses the fundamental attribution error, which is the tendency to attribute other peoples behavior to dispostional casuses and to dismiss the situational pressure acting on the person. I founs it interesting that interrogators are actually allowed to lie to the suspect, although now lying is not permitted now due to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act becasue lying to the suspect led to the giving of a false confession. One technique I found interesting is the Reid technique. The first step in this technique is loss of comtrol. The confession is built up on this. The physical environment where the suspect is interrogated impacts the direction and pacing of the conversation. The goal is to remove any psychological comfort of familiar surroundings. Social isolation is also a key step in the technique because you want to eliminate any emotional support if someone else was in the room. It easy to tell that some behavioral psychology is used when it comes to interrogation because the interrogator has some control over the suspects behavior and the suspects behavior has to be predicted. Video recording, in my opinion is a good solid way during interrogation. The investigators will have hard credible proof when solving the crime. The recording is more permanent and can easily be looked back on by a judge or jury.

Chapter three discusses lie detection. I thought it was interesting to learn some of the methods used when it comes to lie detection. I noticed how these methods are used in a lot of the popular crime shows on TV and in any movies. So we know that lying is a concept in human nature, its just a impressive psychological aspect that cannot not be avoided when a suspect undergoes interrogation, or any average person just telling a little white lie to get away with something. This goes all the way back to the "Machiavellian Intelligence Hypothesis" which states that a leap forward in human intelligence was triggered by the need for humans to develop the social skills of manipulation, pretenses, and deception. The most common method of lie detection used ( and portrayed on television and movies) is the polygraph. The suspect is simply hooked up to a lie detection machine and asked a series of questions such as, "Did you kill her?" This monitors the physiological changes taking place. I find this method the most intriguing considering the great theatrics the examiner displays when performing the test. They have to convince the suspect the electrodes are a flawless detectors of deception. Such physiological changes that take place are rapid heart rate change... good indication that someone could be a big fat liar. Sometimes a polygraph can be unreliable and a EEG or fMRI is used instead.

Overall these chapters were interesting. I feel like I can tell when someone is lying but I tend to be a bit gullible at times. The interrogator or examiner just needs to have on a straight head and pretty much be a human lie detector.

KEY TERMS: confessions, fundamental attribution error, Reid technique, loss of control, social isolation, behavioral psychology, Machiavellian Intelligence Theory, polygraph, fMRI, EEG

Interrogations are nothing like what we see on TV or in movie, but they do give great examples of how police really do get confessions. In chapter two we see how interrogations have evolved over the last several years and how sometimes confessions don’t always solve cases. Early confessions started with police physically beating the suspect until they confessed even if the person didn’t do it. This was back before there were laws in place to prevent police from doing this and trace evidence hadn’t made its way into solving crimes yet. Then around the 1960s police started to use psychological approaches to getting confessions out of suspects. Suspect were giving Miranda Rights and police had no long could physically hurt people. Now they had to get into the heads of the suspects and get them to confess to crimes to “tricks.” In the interrogation rooms it’s a fight for control and who has the power in the room. Officer must keep the pressure on the suspect and get them either feel the guilt or make a mistake. The Reid technique is a great example of using psychology to get a confession that can be used in court. Loss of control and social isolation are two ways of making the suspect uncomfortable and has no support during the interrogation. The feeling of being alone and not able to comprehend what the officer is saying makes the suspect off balance and will confess to the crimes.
The downside to using these tactics suspects could confess to crimes without even actually committing the offence. Some suspect will confess to the crime just to stop the interrogation, after nonstop questioning and long uncomfortable interrogations they just can’t take it anymore. Others will confess to protect the people who actually committed the crime, either because of a gang or it’s a loved one. You can tell a police officer does a good job of using psychology when the suspect starts to believe they committed crime. Through great details and giving possible reasons for why the suspect doesn’t remember the offender believes they did it.
One thing police officer and detectives pride themselves on is the ability to tell when somebody is lying. Part of police training is teaching them how to tell when somebody is lying, but these signals aren’t always correct. Police may rely on there too much, but when we look at studies we see that detecting lies getting better with more interrogations. Over confidence can be major problem for officers who use these liar’s stereotype and they will often start to develop confirmation bias. They will target one person and not consider other suspects. Then polygraphs were founded to help officer tell when a suspect was lying. It all revolves round asking questions that change a person’s heart rate. People will think about the situation more when asked about it and their heart rate increases. Certain questions must be asked to find the correct range of calm and not calm. So when strong reactions to questions have to be lies or alarming.
Key terms: Interrogations, polygraphs, trace evidence, Miranda Rights, Reid technique.

Chapter two begins by informing the reader that most convictions are produced through the questioning of witnesses and suspects. The goal of questioning for police is to get a confession. Police know that interrogations produce results and say that almost 68% of suspects they talk to make self-incriminating statements and between 39% and 485 of suspects actually make full confessions. The text describes how a jury’s ability to recognize a false confession from a true one is very poor, which contributes to why many people who falsely confess still get convicted. Some of that can be attributed to the fundamental attribution error, when people attribute someone’s behavior to their traits and personality and dismiss situational pressures that could affect someone. Because of these factors, defense attorneys sometimes try to get confessions thrown out from trial, which means a judge has to rule on its admissibility.
Police have many ways to carry out interrogations, they used to be able to use direct physical force but now use purely psychological coercion. Many time the police used whatever methods they could to coerce a suspect into telling them what they wanted to hear, whether or not it was true. One thing that changed this was a 1931 study and the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona, which required police to read all suspects their rights. Although this happens many suspects choose to waive their rights. Because we can’t always tell what is a voluntary confession judges were instructed by the Supreme Court to look at the totality of circumstances surrounding confessions. Police have many different ways to use psychological coercion, one of them being a good cop-bad cop approach that they learn through manuals and practice through training. The text describes four different foundational strategies of interrogations, including loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, and exculpatory scenarios. Many of these things worked against the textbook’s example of Thomas Sawyer, who was an anxious alcoholic who produced a false confession because of police interrogation and lies. Police are even more successful at producing false confessions from juveniles.
There are two types of false confessions, instrumental and authentic and they can be either voluntary or coerced. Instrumental-coerced false confessions are when a suspect pleads guilty to crimes that they know they did not commit but have been subject to a long or intense interrogation. Instrumental-voluntary false confessions happen when someone admits to a crime that they did not commit but want the blame for, like a gang member or a parent protecting their child. Authentic-coerced false confession was the case for Thomas Sawyer and happens when someone becomes convinced that they committed a crime when in reality they did not. Authentic-voluntary false confession is when people commit to a crime they did not commit because they are suffering from delusions, like in the cases of the Black Dahlia or of Jon Benet Ramsey. Solutions to tough interrogations and false confessions would be to video record them, especially with an equal-focus camera perspective. Other ways include time limits on the interrogations, an appropriate adult safeguard for vulnerable suspects like juveniles, and having expert testimonies on their validity in court.
Chapter three discusses how lying and deceiving others is a part of human nature and may have developed out of human need for survival. There is a large multitude of lies that people can say and different ways that they can construct them. Many people believe they can tell when others are lying and the legal system puts a lot of faith in juries to detect testimonies and to have police interrogators act as human lie detectors. Although it can be easy to guess if someone is lying or not, there is a 50/50 chance. Many detectives believe there is a liar’s stereotype, which includes when a person is fidgeting or avoiding eye contact among other things, although that is not generally true. Many investigators also hold a confirmation bias, which means they make up their mind about someone and try to find evidence to fit their beliefs, like if someone is lying or guilty.
Because there is no fool-proof way to find out if someone is lying, polygraphs are used. Polygraphs use a person’s physiological changes and cues to determine if a lie is being told, like their heart beating faster and their blood pressure rises. There are three commonly used procedures and questioning used with polygraphs. The relevant-irrelevant test asks questions about the day of the week to questions about the person watching pornography to questions about the actual crime, though this method produces a large amount of false positives. The control question test is the second procedure, which involves control questions. Control questions are about uncomfortable subjects but are known lies for almost every person. A third procedure is the positive control test and includes asking a relevant question twice with both a yes and a no answer. Polygraphing is a key way to determine if someone may be lying or not but it is not immune to weaknesses. Usually the polygraph distributer needs to lie and deceive the person taking the test to make them believe that the polygraph gets very accurate results. Another way that polygraphs are not completely accurate is that there are countermeasures that people can be trained in before taking a test, which thwart their physiological changes.
Polygraphs are not admissible in court in many states and it is not the only technique that investigators use to determine if a person is lying. The guilty knowledge test is used to determine if a suspect knows the facts that only the person who committed the crime would actually know. The GKT test throws out the first options in a series of answers for each question and accounts for the physiological responses to the correct answer/picture. When polygraph and GKT results are used in court they are generally persuasive to the jury. There are newer ways that scientists are using to determine truth; one includes an fMRI, which can map the brain to see where a lot of activity and oxygen occur during certain activities, like lying. The EEG can also be used and it tells when a brain activity changes, like when a lie might be told after some truths were said. Another method that is becoming popular is detecting lies is by someone’s eyes or face. High-definition infrared thermal imaging uses shifts in heat on the face to determine if someone is being truthful, though this technique still relies on physiological changes. Another new way is eye movement memory assessment, which tracks and follows the movement, path, and dilation of the pupil.
I thought it was surprising that polygraphs are not actually as accurate as they are portrayed to be. I think I may be a good lie detector when it comes to my family and friends, but it is usually tough to tell. I know those people better and have been around them when they have lied and when they have been telling the truth so I know the differences in the behaviors which can make it a bit easier. Not everyone can be good at detecting lies but if someone is trained in the changes of behavior a person might have I assume it would be much simpler. Polygraphs are tests that should still be used although it is interesting to know that people can train themselves to mislead them. A surprising amount of people do not know that they are being interrogated. This would matter because it may change how a suspect acts and if they would request the presence of counsel with them.


Terms: fundamental attribution error, coercion, totality of circumstances, good cop-bad cop, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios, Instrumental-coerced false confessions, Instrumental-voluntary false confessions, Authentic-coerced false confession, equal-focus camera perspective, liars stereotype, polygraph, relevant-irrelevant test, false positive, control question test, control questions, positive control test, countermeasures, guilt knowledge test, fMRI, EEG, High-definition infrared thermal imaging, eye movement memory assessment

Chapter two covered interrogations and confessions. Police often try to break down a suspect’s resistance to confessing through the process of interrogation. This could be done by psychical violence, physical torture, or psychological coercion. Though laws have been put in place to protect suspects from physical forms of interrogation, there is often no way of knowing what goes on in an interrogation. If a suspect waives his Miranda rights and has no attorney present, it is the interrogator’s word against the suspect’s word, and judges often favor police. When police do use only psychological means of coercion, there are several techniques that they use, such as good cop-bad cop, loss of control, and social isolation. Interrogation methods can be so intense and influential that an innocent suspect can end up confessing to a crime that he did not commit. Police are legally allowed to lie to suspects about false evidence, which is a very controversial topic. The chapter ended with potential solutions to the problem of false confessions, such as video taping the interrogations, limiting the interrogation time, or allowing an expert witness to enlighten the jury about false confessions.

Chapter three was all about our ability to tell lies and our ability to tell when other people are lying. Interrogators must decide if a suspect is lying, and find ways to catch them on it. Juries also have to decide if witnesses are lying. Psychological research tells us that humans can only tell if someone is lying slightly better than flipping a coin could tell. Jurors and police detectives are no exception. Police detectives may be even worse because they are typically more confident in their detection of lying. They are trained to watch for certain cues in the suspect’s behavior, which in fact are no indication of someone lying (these cues are called liar’s stereotype). Polygraphs are used to measure a suspect’s physiological response to an examiner’s questioning. This is based on the theory that when people lie, they experience increased psychological arousal. Though these may give police more accurate information than an interrogator’s judgment, they have many weaknesses. The guilty knowledge test tries to detect whether or not someone knows facts only a criminal would know, and also measures physiological arousal.

One thing that really surprised me was how powerful confessions can be to a jury. Chapter two described a number of research studies that have considered this. It seems that when jurors hear of a confession, it becomes the most important piece of evidence for them. Even when jurors know that a confession was coerced, and even when there is little evidence showing that the suspect actually committed the crime… jurors have a hard time discounting the confession, and still often convict the suspect. It seems that jurors often fall prey to the fundamental attribution error. They don’t consider the power of the situation, such as an intense interrogation and coerced confession. This comes directly from social psychology. We tend to attribute a person’s behavior to their personality, and tend to ignore situational pressures that may cause a person to behave in such a way.

I think that I, along with everyone else, would fall into the 54% rate of accuracy when trying to distinguish truth from lies. Psychological research tells us this is the norm. It also tells us that there are no ways of getting better at it. The training that police detectives go through even makes them worse off, because it gives them false confidence. Even if we were able to compare the same person lying, and then telling the truth, we would only move our accuracy rate up by about 2%. It seems that there is just no way of improving our accuracy on lie detection.

Polygraphs are machines that attempt to detect if someone is lying. They measure a suspect’s psychological arousal in response to questions. I think that this test gives us a better indication than simply an interrogator’s judgment. But they are not infallible, and we have to take that into consideration. Some people (such as psychopaths) are simply emotionally nonreactive, and would not show psychological arousal when the lie. Innocent people may be extremely anxious because of the very nature of the situation and questions. They’re innocent anxiety may show as physiological arousal, and lead examiners to believe they are lying. Guilty people may behave in the opposite way; they may be aware that polygraphs can only measure arousal, not the fact that they are lying. Knowing this may decrease any anxiety and arousal, allowing them to go through the test showing no psychological changes. People can also fool the test by using countermeasures, techniques to manipulate their own arousal. There are also problems with standardization, as well as ethical concerns. Jurors will probably not be aware of the weaknesses of polygraph techniques without an expert witness, so it may not always be a good idea to inform them of the results of a polygraph test.

Interrogations are intended to put suspects on the spot. Police detectives want them to feel as if they have no control, no way out, and that the evidence is stacked against them. They hope that this will make the suspect trip up on their story or simply confess under the pressure. However, sometimes it may be best to talk to the suspect without this intense form of interrogation. If a suspect does not feel threatened, cornered, on the spot, or anxious, they may not be as careful to hide information. I feel like this method should be considered more when the right opportunity presents itself.

Terms: interrogation, confession, jury, suspect, fundamental attribution error, social psychology, Miranda rights, good cop-bad cop, loss of control, social isolation, expert witness, lie detection, liar’s stereotype, countermeasures, guilty knowledge test

Chapter 2 begins with a crime scene. Trisha was jogging when she was raped and brutally beaten. When she was found she was in critical condition, luckily she survived. Earlier that day a group of boys were seen at the park harassing several people, the police quickly turned to them for suspects. When police picked up the suspect, when they had questioned them, five of the boys had confessed to the crime. The explained in detail the events of the rape. The boys were found guilty and sentenced which ranged from 5 to 15 years in prison. Ten years later an inmate informed authorities that he alone had raped the victim and he took a DNA test to prove it. All five of the suspects were released from prison and it turned out that their confessions were false. This chapter begins like this in order to relate to the topic of the chapter, interrogations and confessions. This chapter is about the role a confession plays, how a confession is obtained, by interrogation, how an interrogation is approached and the aspects of a false confession. When someone confesses to a crime that is the ultimate evidence the police need in order to prosecute the suspect. I think for some suspect, they do not know that they are being interrogated and sometimes when feeling pressured or being asked all of these question, or hearing scenarios that could lead the person to falsely confess is a problem. I think it is important to lets someone to know if they are under interrogation, that way they can notify a lawyer and get some legal advice on interrogation, that way the suspect does not feel coerced into making a false confession. This can possibly lower the amount of false confessions given by suspects. People’s confessions can be false if a confession was coerced, forced out by false evidence, voluntary, or due to other factors. There are four different types of false confessions, instrumental-coerced false confessions, a result of long interrogations, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, knowingly implicate themselves, authentic-coerced false confession, interrogation convinced suspect that they committed the crime, and authentic-voluntary false confession, suspect is delusional or mentally ill. It was also known that police would create false evidence in order to get the suspect to confess, this was the most surprising to me because the book stated that it was legal for police to lie to suspect about evidence that was found. They would tell them things like there was a hair on the victim and it was a match to you, or you failed a polygraph test. However, the PACEA Act in 1986 made it illegal to trick suspect or lie about evidence in order to get a confession. In order to solve potential coerced false confessions video recording with equal-focus camera perspective, showing bother the suspect and the interrogator, has become a solution, that way jurors and others can decide how much coercion occurred during an interrogation. Chapter 3 is about lie detection. It gives example of even in the old days people had techniques for detecting lies. This chapter will explore the ability to tell lies and our ability to detect when other people are lying relying on our own intuition and senses. Chapter 3 is about lie detection, the chapter begins with explain how deception is essential and is everywhere in this world. The chapter then explores if we can tell if someone is lying, and there have been studies about this subject but the fact that there is a 50/50 chance whether someone is lying or not makes the study a have a little chance of getting accurate results. When people are judging whether a person is lying they try to use verbal and nonverbal behaviors as clues. The problem with this is liar’s stereotype; one stereotype would be if the suspect is not making eye contact. The rest of the chapter talks about the polygraph, a machine that detects whether a person is lying or not, it does this by measuring physiological arousal. The process of taking a polygraph is the next section of the chapter this includes the relevant-irrelevant test, this is made use of three types of questions, non-arousal, (arousal) control questions, questions that would make the suspect uncomfortable but not relevant to the crime, and relevant to the crime. The purpose for these questions is to know that the polygraph is giving an accurate count because they don’t want to end up with false positives. To test the polygraphs, scientist used laboratory studies and field studies. The laboratory studies involved mock crimes, a fake crime with no real suspects. Field studies used situations in which people are actual suspects in a real crime. Polygraphs are used to detect arousal, and alternative to asking questions would be the guilty knowledge test, which is used to detect facts only a criminal would know. The recognition of events of a crime that only the criminal would know reflect physiological arousal, an innocent person would not. I thought that I was confident when it comes to catching people in lies or telling when people are lying. Just sitting and talking with someone long enough I have caught people in lies because they will forget what they had previously said and say something else that contradicts them. I have been known to be looking specifically for lies, with past relationship, it was like I thought they were lying and I would not give up trying to find the lie until I found one, it’s like I wanted them to lie just so I could catch them in it. I took look at verbal and nonverbal signs to figure out whether a person is lying or not, but I learned from reading this book that something’s I look for are known as liar stereotypes. I believe that although there are some faults with polygraph, like getting a false positive, they are more accurate at telling when someone is lying than a person is.

Terms: Suspect, Victim, Interrogation, Confess, Instrumental-coerced false confession, Instrumental-voluntary false confession, Authentic-coerced false confession, Authentic-voluntary false confession, PACE Act, Equal-focus camera perspective, Deception, Liar’s stereotype, Polygraph, RIT, Control questions, Mock crimes, GKT,

I found these chapters interesting chapter because they dealt with possible explanations as to why false confessions occur and the high percentages of innocent prisoners incarcerated because of false confessions. In order to understand why false confessions may occur it is important to familiarize yourself with interrogations. When a suspect is brought into custody, he/she can be interrogated by police. Using the loss of control theory police make it appear as if they are in complete control of every aspect of the interrogation. The suspect can become vulnerable in this state because he/she feels they cannot control any aspect of the environment when in reality they are not forced to talk at all. Among other things this is done by making the interrogation room darker, putting high-back seats in the room so the suspect is forced to sit up straight and possibly denying food or bathroom breaks. Furthermore, police have become sophisticated over the years when interrogating suspects. One of the most well known tactics used by police is the good-cop bad-cop technique. One officer will come across as extremely angry at the suspect even claiming that the judge will rip him to shreds. The other officer attempts to calm down the angry officer and reason with the suspect hoping to elicit a confession. Another worthwhile technique to discuss are evidence ploys. These are done frequently during interrogations by claiming that certain evidence (fingerprints, satellite image of the suspect) have been obtained and that the police know the suspect is guilty. Not only can the evidence be completely fabricated, using this type of technique yields the highest percentage of false confessions. Suspects must assume that if the police do indeed have dirt on a potential crime it must be valid.

Although the polygraph has been used for decades, I believe another method should be used to detect lies. More sophisticated interrogation techniques could replace the use of a polygraph and allow for legitimate confessions. Our book used an example of a man named Thomas Sawyer who falsely confessed to a murder of a woman because police became suspicious when he failed a lie detector test. However, the police were not aware that Sawyer suffered from severe social anxiety and thus became sweaty and had an elevated heart rate when around others, most notably present around police officers. Another problem is the polygraph showing false positives, or innocent people coming across as guilty perhaps due to some underlying characteristic brought on by the use of a polygraph machine. In response to the questions above, I do believe at times I am a good lie detector. If it is a person I have been around for some time and have caught onto their tendencies, for example, how their voice changes when happy or overwhelmed, I feel as if I know they are lying or being honest. That being said, I have caught myself carrying on a lie of my own for some time because I have told it so much that I actually believe it to be true.

terms used: polygraph, false positive, false confessions, loss of control theory, good-cop bad cop approach, evidence ploys

Chapters 2 and 3 discuss investigations of suspects, confessions, and various lie detection machines. When investigators question a suspect, they hope to get a confession. Getting a confession out of a suspect not only saves time with investigating a crime but also helps the prosecutor guarantee the conviction of the suspect. However, the way investigators go about attaining this confession is not always trustworthy. In a widely known strategy called the good cop-bad cop approach, 2 detectives (1 sympathetic and 1 angry) try to coerce the confession out of a suspect. A new procedure for trying to get suspects to confess is called the Reid technique. This involves nine steps that are based off four basic strategies. They are loss of control (suspect feels they have lost control of the situation), social isolation (suspects are almost always interrogated alone), certainty of guilt (accusing the suspect of the crime and using evidence to back up the allegations), and exculpatory scenarios (the investigator tries to accuse the suspect of self-defense, accident, etc…).
These types of investigations can include long hours, lack of food/water, etc… This can lead to an increased number in false-confessions. Psychologists have created 2 dimensions in which false-confessions occur; they are: instrumental (means to an end/achieve a goal) or authentic (suspect genuinely believes they may have committed the crime) and voluntary (the suspect gives a confession with little or no coercion) or coerced (suspects believe they may have committed the crime due to pressure from investigators). When these 2 dimensions cross they create 4 false-confession types: instrumental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary, authentic-coerced, and authentic-voluntary. In the United Kingdom, law makers created an act in which made it illegal for law enforcement officers to lie to suspects in order to get a confession. This is called the Police and Criminal Evidence Act or PACE.
The next chapter examined the Polygraph test and several other lie detection techniques that are currently being studied. The Polygraph test measures the blood pressure, heart beat, and breathing of a suspect in order to catch them in a lie. The theory is all of these will rise and quicken causing the polygraph monitor to show the suspect was nervous about his or her answer. Polygraph analysts use a series of yes or no questions to determine whether or not a suspect committed the crime. There are 2 different tests in which investigators use in a polygraph. They are relevant-irrelevant test (RIT), which consists of irrelevant questions along with arousing questions related and not related to the crime. The second type is control question test (CQT), which relies on the measurement of relative arousal. Researchers are also experimenting with functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI. This testing allows researchers to see which areas of the brain are active during different types of questions. Another method is by electroencephalogram (EEG) which tells when different brain activity occurs. Researchers found brain waves changed after volunteers were presented with an activity that required them to lie.
I found the research of fMRI scans to be really interesting. I had never thought about approaching deception and lying that way with research. It was interesting to find out the results of the different areas of the brain that was lit up based on the types of lies people had to make. I feel like if it were a more researched and valid way of interrogating someone, then more investigators would rely on it. I do not think I am a good lie detector. I believe there is good in everyone. This results in me sometimes overlooking important details when it comes to deception. I believe some people could be better at detecting lies than others. I feel that someone who may study behavior may be able to detect lies well. However, I do believe there will always be someone who can beat the polygraph or who has an anxiety disorder, which would cause both the polygraph and the investigator to interpret the signal incorrectly. So I do not believe people or a polygraph could be 100% accurate all the time. People do not always know they are being interrogated. The book gave the example of Tom Sawyer. He believed he was helping the police rather than actually being interrogated. He was unaware that he was a suspect in the murder of his neighbor. Knowing you are being interrogated is an important feature. Because Tom Sawyer was not informed he was a suspect, he was not read his Miranda Rights, and did not believe he needed an attorney. If he had known he was a suspect, his attorney may have prevented him from “helping” the investigation. It was an infringement on his rights.

Keywords: Confession, prosecutor, good cop-bad cop approach, reid technique, loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guilt, exculpatory scenarios, false-confessions, instrumental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary, authentic-coerced, authentic-voluntary, PACE, Polygraph test, relevant-irrelevant test, control question test, fMRI, EEG, Miranda Rights

So chapter 2 revolves around Interrogations and Confessions. The book goes into detail about different interrogating techniques as well as different details about confessions and false confessions.
Now one major point they bring out is that there are alot of false confessions, which are confessions made but they really didnt do it. This may seem like an odd thing, i mean who would confess to a crime that they didnt commit. However if someone is coerced in any way that may lead them to make a confession on their own. The psychology behind that is quite interesting. there has been alot of research to show what kind of techniques are and should be allowed by police in regards to getting a true or false confession. Most Police are allowed to lie or pretty much say anything they want to get you to confess. Now back in the early 1900s they were allowed to use force and essentially torture to get confessions out of you but that has been banned. Now they use more psychological means. They try to twist their words or will lie to you to make you confess. They will tell you they have an eyewitness, or dna linking you to the crime. Now people who are innocent are going to be confused or really disturbed by that information and might make a false confession on the belief that they did it, but they just don’t remember it.
From a psychological standpoint its really interesting looking at how they set up interrogations, everything about them is psychological. The chairs(straight backed) the room (small), etc. The cops too will act a certain way during an interrogation. Now there are many different techniques, good cop bad cop etc. Some different strategies of interrogations are loss of control, social isolation, certainty of guild, exculpatory scenarios, etc. All of them are designed to undermind and make the suspect uncomfterable. This is also where their lies may come into play.
The problem with those techniques is it can lead to false confessions. False confessions are really bad too because Jurors are hugely swayed by confessions. With almost 80% of confessions later being convicted. The courts say that jurors should be good enough to know if a confession is legit or not. Now there are multiple kinds of coercion done to try to get someone to confess. The simple of act of interrogating is a form of coercion because it unnerves most people.
There are also a few different kinds of False confessions. Instrumental-coerced false confessions are due to extremely long interrogations and the suspects just confess to end the interrogations(also torture is where this happens) Instrumental-voluntary false confessions are when people implicate themselves in crimes they did not commit. This may mean taking the rap for a boss,sibling or friend, or just taking the credit for crimes to get attention. An authentic-coerced false confession involves a suspect being convinced they committed the crime due to real or false evidence and then they find a reason they don’t remember committing it.
I do think that this is a huge problem of procuring false confessions, and I believe that cops should not be able to lie to attain a confession. Its dishonest and not truthful as the courts would like everyone to be. If someone cant get a confession then find the evidence don’t lie in an attempt to get someone to stop lying.
Speaking of lying we are on to chapter 3. Chapter 3 focuses on why humans lie, and about lie detection. It has been proven that every human lies and for the most part we do so without any thought about doing it. An interesting thing they found though was most people cant tell if someone is lying. Even detectives who are supposed to be expterts in that area are actually worse than college students at detecting lies, but they think they are better so they are more confident. This is because of liars stereotype. Now most people believe that we all have some sort of tell that we do when we are lying. Averting our eyes, fidgetiness, etc. However most people are so good at lying they don’t have those tells and it begins to be very hard to tell. So how do we tell if someone is lying, you think they would make a machine for that.
The polygraph is a machine that “can tell if you are lying”. The idea behind the machine is that you give off certain physiological responses to lying. Your blood pressure rises, you get sweaty etc. The problem is its possible that those things don’t happen to you because you aren’t effected by the crime, or you don’t have any qualms about lying. That would essentially make your physiological responses null and they wouldn’t be able to tell. So most states don’t allow the use of polygraphs in court as it isn’t able to completely and accurately read if someone is lying or not. However in the case that it is used most jurors find it persuasive.
So I personally don’t think I am a good lie detector unless someone is being just blatant about it. I tend to trust people more than I should so I don’t read into everything someone says in an attempt to catch them in a lie. Nor do I think anyone can be a really good lie detector. You may understand certain tells and whatnot but it will be different for everyone and most people are pretty good at lying. The most surprising thing about these chapters was learning that cops can essentially lie their asses off in an attempt to get you to confess. There seriously should be a protocol stating that in an attempt of a confession you must honestly get it out of them not lie the whole time.
I don’t think everyone knows they are being interrogated. Obviously if you are in a room you understand it, but cops will use anything you say at any point of them meeting you(Miranda rights) to get information out of you. They will ask questions and do it discreetly to get information out of you and I would think that if you didn’t know you were being interrogated you would be more likely to share information than if you know they are specifically looking for information out of you to bust you.

Chapter two discusses interrogation techniques and how they lead to confessions. I always figured that confessions would lead to very high conviction percentages and from reading this chapter I learned that they are relatively high. Chapter three was very interesting because it talked about lie detection and how accurate it is, and how the reliability correlates with the validity. I found it interesting to see how the conviction ratings of lie detection were presented.

The book talks about how powerful confessions are right away in chapter two. I was not surprised to see that when suspects provide confessions they are often found to be guilty for their charges. I did not realize there were different types of confessions. The book talked about a study where they tested to see the conviction percentage of confessions based on the confession type. The first type was a low-pressure confession, where the suspect confesses immediately after questioning began. The second type in the study was high-pressure confessions. These confessions involved instances such as scaring the suspect into a confession by waving their gun around in the air. I thought it was interesting how even though the suspects were basically forced to give a confession, the conviction percent was 31 percent higher than a no-confession, which shows that even though the jury was supposed to discredit the confession, it had an impact. The low-pressure confessions had the highest conviction percent, which makes them the most convincing confessions. The book also talks about the fundamental attribution error, that can attribute behaviors to dispositional causes. I think the most interesting thing about confessions in court, is that even if they were obviously coerced by the interrogators and should be dismissed by the jury, they often play a deciding factor in the verdict.

I think one of the most interesting sections in this chapter was reading about how interrogation techniques have developed over time. In the past, interrogators used anything imaginable to get confessions. They would use physical violence and abuse very often. Fortunately, over time torture has been found to be un-ethical, so the current interrogations use psychological means to coerce a confession. I did not know that sleep deprivation was one of the most effective ways to get a confession. Miranda rights are an interesting thing to learn about. I had never known that about 80 percent of people waive their Miranda rights due to a variety of causes. I also learned that until the Miranda rights have been read any information, such as a confession, may not be presented in court.

The book talks about false confessions, which I had never really thought about before. I never realized that people can confess to crimes even when they did not commit them. The case the book talks about is fascinating, because the man does not remember anything about raping or killing the woman, but after extended interrogations, the man admits to the murders because of the "evidence" provided by the interrogators. Thomas Sawyer believed that there was so much evidence saying it was him, it must have actually been him. I think that is crazy to think about how someone's mind can be affected so badly by ideas placed into their head.

There are four types of false confessions talked about in this chapter. The first type is instrumental-coerced false confessions. These are confessions, where the suspect confesses because they think it is the only way to stop the interrogation, and believe that they can straighten everything out later. The next type is instrumental-voluntary, this is the only type of false confession I had any idea about before reading this chapter. This involves a person, such as a gang member, confessing to a crime to keep a higher up member out of trouble. An authentic-coerced is where someone, after a long interrogation, can actually believe that they might have committed the crime and confess. The last type of false confession is the authentic-voluntary where delusions cause people to believe they committed crimes, usually, high-profile, or famous crimes.

Lie detection has a strong belief to be helpful in deciding whether or not someone is lying, especially while in trial. Research has shown that there is no definite way to tell if someone is lying. The book says that people can detect lies only slightly over the likeliness of the detection being chance. Although so much validity is put on lie detection it is not very reliable. Lie detection training videos can be used to teach people how to improve their ability to detect lies, but surprisingly these videos do not really improve their abilities. Although police estimate they can detect lies about 77 percent of the time, they can actually only detect them about 50 percent of the time. That means they estimate they can detect an extra 25 percent of lies.

Polygraphs are one of the common ways to attempt to detect lies. The machines use physiological changes to determine whether or not the person is lying to a yes or no question. I think it is ridiculous that at one point a large percent of employers would use lie-detector tests to decide who to employ. I think it is good that this process was stopped by the Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.

There are a number of weaknesses to polygraph tests. I never knew that in order to make the lie detector seem flawless, the interrogators sometimes use, card tricks, where they ask the suspect a to pick a card, and then ask questions which lead to the correct answer of the card. A large problem with lie-detection tests, is that their is little standardization between tests. No standardization makes it difficult to determine how reliable the polygraph really is, because people are asked different types of questions. Studies have shown that there are generally no physiological changes that can definitively tell people whether or not the response is a lie or not.

Terms: interrogation, confession, conviction, polygraph, low-pressure, high-pressure, Miranda Rights, coerced confessions, instrumental-coerced, instrumental-voluntary, authentic-coerced, and authentic-voluntary.

These two chapters cover topics that are made up almost entirely of psychology and psychological techniques. In chapter two, the big thing I wanted to discuss was the Reid technique, because I found it most interesting, and noticed that a lot of the terms in the chapter could be placed in different parts of it’s strategy. The Reid technique is made up of four foundational strategies:

The first two relate to each other and are almost intertwined. Loss of control comes from the environment the criminal is being interrogated in, and, if this tactic is successful, the criminal should be distressed from a lack of emotional support and comfort from familiar surroundings. This leads into the next step, which is social isolation. The term from the textbook that I thought related to this is the good cop-bad cop approach. Having a suspect feel socially isolated for an extensive interrogation, then bringing in this technique makes sense to me, because the criminal is looking for emotional support. Like the book says, using loss of control and social isolation is very effective, and I feel like following this with an approach inviting the criminal to confide in the “good cop” can lead to a confession.

The third step is certainty of guilt, which related back to many vocabulary terms I read about in this chapter. This strategy is established through evidence ploys. I see this a lot in crime television shows: the interrogator uses evidence they claim is incriminating, to make the criminal feel like there is no more hope, and that they should just confess. I can definitely see how this affects someone psychologically, because if you actually committed the crime, and you learned that your DNA or fingerprint or whatever was found at the scene, it feels like there is no way you’ll be getting away with this. However, I can also see how this technique may cause false confessions, which relates to another vocab term. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) has been enacted in Wales and the UK, preventing investigators from using evidence ploys. I don’t necessarily agree with this act, but I can see both sides of this argument, because, with a false confession, jurors are victims of the fundamental attribution error.

Last strategy: exculpatory scenarios. Not much to discuss here, but basically, the interrogator tries to give the criminal excuses for the crime, blaming the victim, saying it was an accident, etc, paving the way for a confession.

In chapter three, I feel like, besides learning a lot about lie detection in general, I learned a lot about myself. I, too, fall for the liar’s stereotype, believing that liars fidget and stutter when they’re guilty. I also tend to follow a confirmation bias like the book talks about. When I believe someone is innocent, I psychologically ignore any guilty evidence. This makes me a horrible lie detector. Going further, I feel like most of society succumbs to the same problems I have, however, I believe, if properly trained, you can be a good lie detector. Interrogators, investigators, forensic psychologists, etc. etc. seem like they can spot a liar easily.

In the case of polygraphs, I have never really deemed them reliable. The book talks about false positives involving polygraphs, which makes sense, because the main measurements used by these machines (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.) will probably be elevated regardless of guilt or innocence. If there were a way to measure all of these things while a person didn’t know they were being interrogated, that may prove more effective.

Key Terms: Reid technique, loss of control, social isolation, good cop-bad cop approach, certainty of guilt, evidence ploys, Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE), fundamental attribution error, exculpatory scenario, liar’s stereotype, confirmation bias, false positives

Chapter 2 of our book spoke mainly of confessions and interrogations. Confessions are an admission of guilt after the crime has taken place and are the ultimate goal in questioning because they are important in the courtroom as the closest thing to a conviction. However, false confession are often prevalent due police coercion, fatigue, abuse, delusion, or if the person is attempting to protect someone else. Police coercion is when police use intimidation or deception to push, suggest, lie, and manipulate a person into confessing. This is a scary thing and should not be taken lightly or overlooked when dealing with the police. Interrogation is the act of eliciting confessions through questioning. Interrogation techniques have shifted from a past of physical violence and torture, to strictly psychological methods. The implementation of the Miranda Rights was a staple in this change because police are required by law to tell people that they have the right to remain silent or have a lawyer present at questioning. One of these interrogation methods is the good cop bad cop technique in which the aim is to get the person to trust in and confess to the good cop. Another method is called the Reid Technique. This involves four steps, with the first being loss of control. This means that the person being question has no control in the interrogation room. The second is social isolation in that the person is all alone. The third step is certainty of guilt, which is when the questioner acts like they are positive the person is guilty. The last step is providing exculpatory scenarios. This means the questioner almost downplays the crime and makes it seem justified in order to elicit a confession. Besides the obvious police coercion, there are a few downsides to these techniques. One is that younger people being questioned often have a higher rate of false confessions because they are more susceptible to influence. Another could be a possible confirmation bias in that police are looking for evidence to support their assumptions. Many other aspects of social and cognitive psychology are also at play here that could influence the interactions between the investigator and person in question.

Chapter 3 dealt more with lying and lie detection. It started of saying of lying is an adaptive evolutionary technique to avoid danger. Police are trained to use observations of verbal and nonverbal cues to weed out the liars, however this can lead to overconfidence and it is actually pretty difficult to tell if a person is lying. Nonverbal cues such as crossing the legs, fidgeting and shifting, and avoiding eye contact are often known as liar's stereotype, in that they may have nothing to do with it. It is important not to commit the fundamental attribution error when we analyze other's behaviors and underestimate the situational influences on that behavior. One instrument used to detect lying is the polygraph. A polygraph is a machine that writes out the person's physiological responses to questions. It has a few different question test techniques, these are relevant-irrelevant tests, control question tests, and guilty knowledge tests. Polygraphs do have two downsides though. The first is that some people are emotionally non-reactive and the polygraph will not pick up any physiological change. The second is that we can't know if an innocent suspect will react strongly to a question about the crime. Because of this, polygraphs are banned as evidence in 23 states, and are only allowed in some of these states under special circumstances. Nowadays, the better techniques are fMRIs and EEGs because they look at the activity occurring in the brain. The last part of this chapter discussed several techniques having to do with the eyes. An eye movement assessment tracks the visual attention to a scene based on eye movement, scanning path, pupil dilation, and gaze fixation. Another method is called laser dopplar vibrometry. This uses a near-infrared light beam aimed at the neck of a subject from a few hundred feet away to hopefully measure different physiological stress symptoms of lie detection.

After reading these chapters, the information that was most interesting to me was how the book looked at lying on an evolutional level. I like to see things in terms of this as well because it gives us an incite into how this behavior possibly first arose. I tend to think of myself as a good lie detector because I think I am pretty good at reading nonverbal cues. I've always thought that when a person answering a question looks up prior to their answer they are actually trying to remember, but if the person looks down they are thinking of a lie. I don't know if that's really true though. I think anyone can be a good lie detector if they know what to look for. Polygraphs, however, I am a little sketched out about. I think that they are pretty good at detecting lies, but the fact that there is a way around them renders them kind of ineffective. If people know they are being interrogated they can self monitor their own physiological changes and sometimes have enough influence over them to beat the polygraph.

Terms: Confessions, Interrogations, False Confessions, Police Coercion, Good cop Bad cop Approach, Reid Technique, Loss of Control, Social Isolation, Certainty of Guilt, Exculpatory Scenarios, Miranda Rights, Confirmation Bias, Liar's Stereotype, Polygraph, Relevant-Irrelevant Tests, Control Question Tests, Guilty Knowledge, fMRI, EEG, Fundamental Attribution Error, Eye Movement Memory Assessment, Laser Dopplar Vibrometry, Elicit

Chapter two is all about confessions. How confessions affect the trial, their impact on the jury and conviction rate, as well as false confessions and their implication of coercion on the part of the police department. I’m honestly not surprised to find that a confession, false or otherwise is the single most convincing piece of evidence in a trial and how that can easily lead to the highest conviction rates. I was surprised to find that even when a jury member decided that part of a statement may have been coerced, it did not lead them to believe that the entire statement was coerced, nor did it lead them to disregard the confession in most cases. Something else I found interesting was the number of people who waive their Miranda Rights, 80% of people is a far more significant number then I assumed. This is most likely due to the psychological impact of it seeming simply just a mundane part of our society as was stated in the chapter when the officers choose to present the statement in a monotone voice. If the police can imply that the rights are simply a matter of procedure and not anything important, then they are more likely to be able to gain a confession because the lawyer is not present.

In the case of Thomas Sawyer, I don’t think that the police should be allowed to out right lie to a suspect in order to gain a false confession. We know that when you present a detail of an incident to a person they may, without even being aware incorporate that detail into their own memory of the event. So this fact, combined with the social isolation, and other psychological tortures and lies can easily lead to a false confession without the suspect even fully knowing that they are confessing falsely.

Chapter three involves lie detecting and polygraphs and how those are used in our legal/criminal justice system. I believe that I am an awful judge of when someone is lying to me about factual information, however I am a much better judge of when someone is trying to trick me into something, or trick me out of something that I deserve. This is because when someone lies to you about facts, especially personal facts it is often difficult to verify and easier to simply accept that the person has no reason to lie to you. However I have come to notice that often times when people are attempting to achieve a goal, they become far more earnest in their lie then what would be necessary with a truthful statement.

Polygraphs are an interesting piece of technology, and they use very simple body measurements to determine whether or not a person is lying. For example heart rate, because lying is difficult for the brain and telling the truth is easier there are increases in heart rate and other functions of the body. However, I know that if I was completely innocent, but sitting in a police interrogation room hooked up to a lie detector machine, I would be incredible nervous and all of the functions that they use to determine if someone is lying, I know would be elevated merely from me being uncomfortable and scared because I was suspected of a crime. In this way I don’t believe that they are a fair representation of misleading information. However, combined with a trained individual, it may be enough evidence to convince a jury or a judge of someone’s guilt.

Interrogations are a necessary evil in my opinion. And no not everyone is aware that they are involved in an interrogation, take the example of Thomas Sawyer again, who was taken to the station on the pretense of “helping with the investigation”. It would make a huge psychological difference in the perception of and cooperativeness to the police around them. Also, if you are more relaxed, you may be less susceptible to interrogation tactics and may even recall more accurate details of the crime.

Ever since I saw the show “lie to me” I have had a fascination with the way people give away when they’re lying. The obvious tells that come with lying are included in the liars stereotype, this includes fidgeting, avioiding eye contact and other telling signs. What I didn’t realize was even the things that get the highest regard can sometimes fail to produce the right results. Someone being interrogated is much more likely to have a false positive, this comes from the interviewer controlling the questions in a way that was misleading or triggered a sense of anxiety. But anxiety doenst mean guilt. The RIT was invented to stray away from these sort of questions, they are meant to be neutral and only provoke emotion if it is nexxesary. The control question test is similar to this. These techniques are all used when conducting a polygraph test. Polygraphs measure the heart rate of the person taking the test, with that being said if someone were nervous and suddenly their heart rate jumped, that would indicate the person were lying. But that isn’t necessarily true (which is where false positives come into play)

Terms: false positive, liar’s stereotype, false positive, RIT, CQT, control question, polygraph, anxiety, interrogation,

Chapter two looked at the specific techniques used by police in the interrogation room and the psychological effects that the techniques on suspects. I found the fundamental attribution error interesting to read about. It’s defined as “the tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to dispositional causes and to dismiss the situational pressures acting on the person.” I liked learning about the Reid Technique. There are nine steps of interrogation when using the Reid technique.The text also mentioned that in addition to normal interrogation techniques this one has several psychologically powerful aspects of the process. As reading the steps of this interrogation process it appears to be the average process. They accuse, help give an excuse, cut off them for their excuses, and then in a sense wearing them out until they start to show signs of giving up.
This can be related to behavioral psychology. In the beginning of this chapter it talked about how a group of teenagers confessed to a crime they didn't commit. I am unsure whether they were interviewed separately but am sure that they were. Going through an interrogation for an extensive amount of time can cause a persons pscyhie to become distorted. I believe there are studies that prove there psychie is abnormal prior to the interrogation. I think that after a while they would start to believe hey, a cop is saying this and it's making sense, must be true. I feel as though i would beleive that i had done something i hadn't.

I liked that the chapter on lie detection started out with can we tell when others are lying. It brings me back to the last chapter. When i was reading the quoted confessions of those teenage boys' i felt that some of them were different...i don't believe that they seemed accurate when looking at others confessions. The way they talked about the attack seemed a little off. One of them said that you had to show a little effort there froe he had to get into it, while another said "dont killer her man, dont' kill her. bad enough you raping her, dont killer her man". These two confession dont add up. One shouldn't feel an obligation to the group members to join in while another can stand up and say dont kill her, it's bad enough you're raping her. They both should have felt the same pressure as the other. Either they both feel they have to participate to fit in or in order not to get in trouble with them. OR they could feel comfortable stating it's bad enough you're raping her. I feel as though you can tell when someone is lying in certain situations-like that one. I think they should have a psychologist present when a confession is given whether they just have one associated with a prescient and watch tapes of them. I feel they could help eliminate the confound of *false confessions."
I feel as though i can be a good "lie detector" if i know the person. If i don't know the person i sometimes feel as though i can tell by their body language. For example if someone isn't making eye contact or being figity it may be safe to assume that they're in an uncomfortable situation. My boyfriend looks to the side when he's lying, my friend starts to smile unless its a serious situation otherwise she just gets this particular look on her face and she always turns red. I don't think anyone can be a good lie detector.
Honestly, I think that introverts are better at being a lie detector. Mostly because introverts notice things that extroverts don't. Mainly because they stand by and observe while extroverts are acting, being social and are the ones being observed.
I don't think everyone will know that they're being interrogated. You can't interrogate random people without their knowledge. They could be under age or disabled. They have to have their miranda rights read to them prior otherwise it wont hold up in court and becomes illegal. It's illegal to interrogate a teenager without their parent or lawyer present.


Terms: interrogation, psychological effects, suspects, fundamental attribution error, Reid Technique, lie detection, confession, miranda rights, extroverts, introverts,

Terms: confessions, trial, conviction rate, jury, coercion, evidence, Miranda Rights, psychological impact, false confession, memory, social isolation, psychological tortures,
Suspect, lie detecting, polygraphs, body measurements, heart rate, Interrogations, perception, cooperativeness, interrogation tactics

Lie Detection and Interrogation
Chapter 2 focuses on the how police get convicts to confess and why they want a quick confession. For one, the job of the police is to find criminals and gather evidence to secure convictions. The physical evidence is an important component within an investigation, but the questioning of witness and suspects are what lead to a confession and to conviction. Police favor confessions over other types of evidence. For one, they are quick and save time. Second, a confession is the closest thing for prosecutors to get a guaranteed conviction. The chapter then processed to talk about the evolution of interrogation techniques. As history can tell us, and any movies that have brutal interrogation scenes, interrogations use to be rather forceful and aggressive. Now the laws governing the use of force of police have cracked down, and have made interrogations more sophisticated. Rather than torturing the suspect, investigators have converted to the use of psychological means of coercion. The after the Miranda rights were established if any suspect has not been “mirandized” their confession can be excluded from trial. However, only 20% of suspects in custody choose to exercise the Miranda rights, and 80% waive their rights.
The book then explains what goes on inside the interrogation room. The most common approached used when interrogating is the good cop-bad cop approach. Which is when two cops work as a team with one being the more intimidating looking cop, and the other acting more like your friend. Most likely, the suspect feels comfortable confessing to the “good” cop when the “bad” cop leaves the room. While good cop-bad cop is affective, all interrogators referred to the Reid technique that consists of nice steps of interrogation. Overall this chapter concludes that the power of a confession is essential for conviction, but also to shine some light on false confessions.
Chapter 3 emphasizes about the use of lie detection. If anyone has ever taken Humanities I or a philosophy class you may be familiar with the old technique of trial by ordeal. This technique consisted of having the suspect put his arm into boiling water and then bandaged for three days. If the arm became infected then the person was guilty, if the arm remained uninfected then the person was innocent. Luckily, the legal system has advanced since then. Such advancements include the polygraph. This device is hooked up to an individual, cutting off blood pressure in one arm, and monitors physiological reactions with multiple pens that write on a moving strip of paper. The theory is, if the subject is lying then it will cause physiological movement, specifically, fast heart rate, quickness in breath, elevated blood pressure, and increased moisture of skin. Polygraphs were used to determine who to fire and who to hire. The polygraph is used for two different questioning procedures. First is relevant-irrelevant test. This test is made up of three different sets of questions; 1. Nonarousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior being investigated. 2. Arousing questions that are not relevant to the behavior being investigated. 3. Relevant questions that are especially arousing for the person who actually committed the crime. The second test is the control question test. This test is the most frequently used test. This test highlights control questions. These questions involve behaviors that are uncomfortable for suspects but not directly related to the crime. The use of the polygraph has been controversial for many decades. And with the natural survival technique our minds use such as lying eventually will have to ask ourselves if technology will be able to determine and find the truth.
Overall, I thought both of these chapters were interesting. I thought that the interrogations chapter was helpful in understanding the process of interrogating. What I learned most from that chapter is use of the good cop-bad cop technique. I knew that it existed but I really did not know it was actually a “technique”, only what they use on T.V. I think that for the most part the use of the Miranda rights is waived a lot because people are either unaware that they have them, or people feel obligated to just be interrogated. I feel that the biggest problem that the law is most influenced by the fact that they want a confession now, and want an investigation solved. The lie detection chapter was cool in learning how the process of how the polygraph actually works, and how the physical aspect of lying is used as a survival technique. I feel that even though the lie detection test is controversial, I feel that it does sure a huge part in observation of physiological behavior. However, I do agree that technology cannot sense emotion, or meaning. With that being said I feel that people will always be able to outsmart technology.
Terms: interrogations, good cop-bad cop, Miranda rights, physiological behavior, polygraph, trial by ordeal.

Chapter two in the book talks about interrogations and confessions. The first thing the chapter talks about is the fundamental attribution error, or the tendency to attribute other people’s behavior to dispositional causes such as personality traits, and to dismiss the situational pressures acting on the person. For instance, if the interrogator is asking questions rather harshly or too emotionally, the person’s answers are going to reflect this. Many legal court cases in history have influenced the interrogation techniques we have today, one in particular being the Miranda Rights. Even though only 20% of people use their rights to not disclose any information, it gives the person more power to share what they want to say, and will help give more accurate and calm answer for the police. The taility of circumstances is when the court and police use tricks and creative ways to get the suspect to say what they want them to say. Today in the interrogation room, many different approaches and techniques have been created so the police can get better answers. Some of these include the ¬cop-bad approach, the Reid technique, loss of control, certainty of guilt, exculpatory and scenarios. Many of these techniques deal with the temperament of the interrogator, and the environment. False confessions can cause many problems, and can lead to wrong convictions. 25% of wrong convictions are caused by false confessions. Having a fair confession environment and interrogator is important, so less false convictions will happen. There are a couple of types of false confessions such as mental-coerced false confessions, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, authentic-coerced false confessions, and authentic –voluntary false confessions Many of these deal with protecting someone else, the person becomes tricked in to thinking they are guilty, the confessor is mentally ill or the person does not know their legal rights. The Police and Criminal Evidence Act makes it illegal to trick or lie to suspects in order to get a certain outcome. Some potential solutions to stop false confessions include video-recording of the interrogation and replaying it, time limits, safeguard for vulnerable suspects, and expert testimonies. All in all, interrogations are both important and dangerous. They can be very helpful in convicting a criminal or getting information about another one, but they also can lead to false convictions. Certain techniques can be used to prevent false convictions from occurring.
Chapter three talks the complex concept of lie detection. It is just as hard as it is easy to believe if someone is lying or not. The liar’s stereotype includes cues such as squirming, body touching and stuttering that makes it seem as if that person is lying. The confirmation bias is relevant, because if the interrogator believes that the person is guilty, they will look for more things the suspect says to make their prediction true. Polygraphs are also helpful in detecting if someone is lying, because they are machines that monitor physiological changes. The polygraphing process includes several tests, which include the relevant-relevant test which determines false positives, and the control-question test which emphasizes the control of questions. Polygraphs however can be problematic, because innocent people can get just as nervous as a guilty person, and maybe more nervous. Also different people may have different arousal signs that may not be detected by the machine. This can lead to innocent people being convicted, and guilty people set free. A study done on polygraphs that dealt with mock crimes showed that only 75-80% of people were correctly classified as guilty or innocent. The alternative for the polygraph test is the guilty knowledge test which uses techniques such as question asking, and photo identification of and about the victim to bring upon guilt to the suspect. Many jurors and experts have varied opinions about whether polygraphs should be used, and if it is effective. The functional magnetic resonance imaging studies brain activity of people who are lying and not lying. Interrogators also use techniques to determine lying through the eyes which can include high-definition infrared thermal imaging, credibility assessment, eye movement memory assessment and memory assessment. In conclusion, lying detection is a very controversial and complex topic. It is a matter of opinion of whether we should use these lying techniques, or if they infringe on people’s right to privacy.

Key terms: fundamental attribution error, Miranda Rights, taility of circumstances, ¬cop-bad approach, the Reid technique, loss of control, certainty of guilt, exculpatory and scenarios. ,mental-coerced false confessions, instrumental-voluntary false confessions, authentic-coerced false confessions, and authentic –voluntary false confessions, The Police and Criminal Evidence Act, liar’s stereotype,confirmation bias, polygraphs, relevant-relevant test, false positives, control-question test, control, mock crimes, guilty knowledge test,functional magnetic resonance imaging,high-definition infrared thermal imaging, credibility assessment, eye movement memory assessment and memory assessment
note to TA's: I thought I posted this yesterday, but I just double checked to make sure, and it turns out it didn't submit the first time!

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