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Pausing and the ‘Othello Error’: Patterns of pausing in truthful and deceptive speech in the DyViS database

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

Change log

Authors

Jat, SC 
McDougall, K 
Paver, A 

Abstract

jats:pThe idea of detecting deception from speech is very attractive from a law enforcement perspective, yet research considering the possibility has yielded conflicting results, due to the practical difficulties in investigating the topic. Scientific research is yet to provide forensic linguistics with a reliable means of discerning lies from truths. The present study explores the relationship between truthfulness and pausing behaviour. Various aspects of the acoustics of pausing behaviour were investigated for Standard Southern British English in 30 mock police interviews from the DyViS database (Nolan et al. 2009). A novel distinction was made between prescribed and unprescribed lies, to delineate a potential source of differences in the unscripted content of speakers’ untruthful responses. Among pause duration measures, statistically significant differences were found across all three response types (truth, prescribed lie, unprescribed lie) for response latency, between truths and lies for initial filled pauses, and between unprescribed lies and the other response types for silent pauses. For pause frequency measures, only internal filled pauses showed a statistically significant difference: truths differed from both types of lies, but prescribed lies did not differ from unprescribed lies. Theories of cognitive effort and attempted control are drawn on in accounting for these findings.</jats:p>

Description

Keywords

DECEPTIVE SPEECH, DECEPTION, LYING, PAUSES, PAUSING BEHAVIOUR

Journal Title

International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1748-8885
1748-8893

Volume Title

30

Publisher

Equinox Publishing
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