Who can catch a liar?

Am Psychol. 1991 Sep;46(9):913-20. doi: 10.1037//0003-066x.46.9.913.


The ability to detect lying was evaluated in 509 people including law-enforcement personnel, such as members of the U.S. Secret Service, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, Drug Enforcement Agency, California police and judges, as well as psychiatrists, college students, and working adults. A videotape showed 10 people who were either lying or telling the truth in describing their feelings. Only the Secret Service performed better than chance, and they were significantly more accurate than all of the other groups. When occupational group was disregarded, it was found that those who were accurate apparently used different behavioral clues and had different skills than those who were inaccurate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aptitude*
  • Criminal Psychology*
  • Humans
  • Lie Detection*
  • Psychiatry*
  • Social Control, Formal*