Megan E. Frillici, Colin L. Lamb, Nicholas James Patritti, Ian Rasaan Robinson



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Research (e.g., ten Brinke et al., 2014) indicates that type of questions asked of observers will determine degree of accuracy in deception detection (DD). The present research examined the advantage of virtual reality (VR) in DD using both direct (e.g., Is the person lying?) and indirect (e.g., Does the person appear nervous?) questions of participants. Indirect questionnaires included probes assessing biases that observers might see as common deceiver characteristics (e.g., failure to make eye contact). The usefulness of these type of questions in DD is believed to interact with the use of VR. The first of three hypotheses for this research is that indirect questioning would produce strong DD due to questions such as those influenced by bias towards certain professions, and decisions to work with a person on a project and character traits such as body language and facial expressions. The second hypothesis is that a subset of indirect questions designed to detect bias about dishonest behavior would produce greater accuracy in DD than those related to facial and body indicators. The third hypothesis is that VR would enhance observations of nonverbal facial-emotional and body language characteristics. Participants wearing VR headsets watched brief videos, each featuring an actor depicting a student who had participated in a game. The actors were each interrogated about having cheated, and either lied or not. After each video, participants completed a direct or indirect set of questions about the honesty of the actor, as well as questions designed to obtain details about their responses on the initial questionnaire. Data collection is continuing; however, preliminary analysis of the type of questionnaire and correct DD indicated that DD is greater when responding to indirect questions. Further, specific focus questions indicate that facial-emotional and body language cues are enhanced by the use of VR.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Independent Research

Primary Advisor

Susan T. Davis

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Quality Education

Cue-Focused Questions Increase Accuracy of Detecting Deception within a Virtual Reality Space