A Sequence Analysis of Nonverbal Behaviour and Deception

Abbie Marono, David D. Clarke, Joe Navarro, David A. Keatley

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


The ability to correctly interpret nonverbal communication (NVC) is an important ability in everyday interactions, which may use NVC techniques to identify the concealment of information. In the present study, a novel approach was used to understand NVC. Behaviour sequence analysis identified specific sequences of behaviours that indicate psychological distress caused by deception. The study involved the analysis of 55 videos of real criminals and high-power individuals that were filmed fabricating statements, which were later exposed as being untruthful at the time of being filmed. In addition, 53 clips of criminals making truthful statements were also analysed as a contrast group. Results indicated clear differences between honest and deceptive responses, such as furrowing of eyebrows in the deceptive sequences occurring more often than honest statements. In addition, sequences of behaviours were shown in the present data set, which could indicate a new method for analysing NVC and detecting psychological distress caused by deception. The possible implications and applications for police and forensic investigation are also outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-117
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Early online date22 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2018


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