'Look this way': Using gaze maintenance to facilitate the detection of children's false reports

Hannah Cassidy, Lucy Akehurst, Amy-May Leach, Julie Cherryman, Aldert Vrij, Megan Arathoon, Zarah Vernham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In two experiments, we investigated whether imposing a secondary task is an effective technique for detecting child deceit. Firstly, 85 children aged 8 to 11 years old provided either a true or false report of a recent school event. At interview, some children were asked to gaze towards either the interviewer’s face (IF) or a teddy bear’s face (TF), whereas some children were given no gaze instruction. In both the IF and TF conditions, lie-tellers provided significantly fewer details than truth-tellers. 192 adult evaluators then judged the credibility of ten children’s reports from one of the three ‘gaze’ conditions with and without guidance on level of detail. Evaluators discriminated truths from lies successfully when judging children instructed to look at IF, but not when children were asked to gaze towards TF. Evaluators who received guidance demonstrated better discrimination between true and false reports than evaluators who received no such information.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-80
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: 'Look This Way’: Using Gaze Maintenance to Facilitate the Detection of Children's False Reports, which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/wol1/doi/10.1002/acp.3303/abstract. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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