Mapping the Lie: A Smallest Space Analysis of Truthful and Deceptive Mock-informant Accounts.

Lee Moffett*, Gavin Oxburgh, Paul Dresser, Fiona Gabbert

*Corresponding author for this work

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Detecting informant deception is a key concern for law enforcement officers, with implications for resource-management, operational decision-making, and protecting officers from risk of harm. However, the situational dilemma of a police informant, otherwise known as a Covert Human Intelligence Source (CHIS), is unique. Informants are tasked to obtain information about the transgressive actions or intentions of their associates, knowing they will later disclose this information to a handler. Thus, techniques for detecting deception in other forensic scenarios may not be transferrable to an informant interview. Utilising truthful and deceptive transcripts from a unique mock-informant role play paradigm, Smallest Space Analysis was used to map the co-occurrence of content themes. Results found that deceptive content frequently co-occurred with emotive and low-potency content themes. This provides support for the future analysis of verbal content when seeking to detect informant deception.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Police Journal
Early online date20 May 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 May 2022


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