The Analysis of Nonverbal Communication: The Dangers of Pseudoscience in Security and Justice Contexts

Denault, V., Plusquellec, P., Jupe, L. M., St-Yves, M., Dunbar, N. E., Hartwig, M., Sporer, S. L., Rioux-Turcotte, J., Jarry, J., Walsh, D., Otgaar, H., Viziteu, A., Talwar, V., Keatley, D. A., Blandón-Gitlin, I., Townson, C., Deslauriers-Varin, N., Lilienfeld, S. O., Patterson, M. L., Areh, I., Allan, A., Cameron, H. E., Boivin, R., Brinke, L. t., Masip, J., Bull, R., Cyr, M., Hope, L., Strömwall, L. A., Bennett, S. J., Menaiya, F. A., Leo, R. A., Vredeveldt, A., Laforest, M., Honts, C. R., Manzanero, A. L., Mann, S., Granhag, P.-A., Ask, K., Gabbert, F., Guay, J.-P., Coutant, A., Hancock, J., Manusov, V., Burgoon, J. K., Kleinman, S. M., Wright, G., Landström, S., Freckelton, I., Vernham, Z. and Koppen, P. J. v. (2019) The Analysis of Nonverbal Communication: The Dangers of Pseudoscience in Security and Justice Contexts. Anuario de Psicología Jurídica, 30 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 1133-0740

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For security and justice professionals (e.g., police officers, lawyers, judges), the thousands of peer-reviewed articles on nonverbal communication represent important sources of knowledge. However, despite the scope of the scientific work carried out on this subject, professionals can turn to programs, methods, and approaches that fail to reflect the state of science. The objective of this article is to examine (i) concepts of nonverbal communication conveyed by these programs, methods, and approaches, but also (ii) the consequences of their use (e.g., on the life or liberty of individuals). To achieve this objective, we describe the scope of scientific research on nonverbal communication. A program (SPOT; Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques), a method (the BAI; Behavior Analysis Interview) and an approach (synergology) that each run counter to the state of science are examined. Finally, we outline five hypotheses to explain why some organizations in the fields of security and justice are turning to pseudoscience and pseudoscientific techniques. We conclude the article by inviting these organizations to work with the international community of scholars who have scientific expertise in nonverbal communication and lie (and truth) detection to implement evidence-based practices.

Item Type: Articles
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pseudoscience, Nonverbal communication, SPOT, Behaviour analysis interview, Synergology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Academic Areas > Institute of Education, Social and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Stephanie Bennett
Date Deposited: 14 May 2021 14:44
Last Modified: 14 May 2021 14:44

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