From a linguistic perspective, this book is a practical explanation of how confessions work. Roger Shuy, author of the 1993 benchmark work, Language Crimes, examines criminal confessions, the interrogations that elicit confessions, and the deceptive language that plays a role in the actual confession. He presents transcripts from numerous interrogations and analyzes how language is used, how constitutional rights are not protected, and discusses consistency, truthfulness, suggestibility, and written and unvalidated confessions. He also provides specific advice about how to conduct interrogations that will yield credible evidence.

Language of Truthfulness and Deception

Language of truthfulness and deception

In their excellent book Deceptive Communication, Miller and Stiff (1993) review the state of research on the topic of deception. They point out that most of this research has been on detecting deception by means of nonverbal clues (p. 21). But even when research subjects are able to identify verbal content accurately, they rely almost exclusively on nonverbal behavior to make judgments about deception (p. 46). Because the pioneers of deception research were mostly physiologists and social psychologists, it is only natural that such work would focus on physiological features that accompany deceptive behavior, rather than on language itself. Thus, the polygraph had its moment in the sun before falling out of favor, succeeded by nonverbal ...

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