Lying and its detection using the neuro-linguistic programming eye accessing cue model
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A pioneering study was conducted to empirically investigate the truth-lie distinction claim made by a number of neuro-linguistic programming practitioners based on NLP’s visual eye accessing cue model. They have extrapolated the model to assert that observation of specific eye patterns reveal whether or not a person it lying or truth-telling. It denotes that when a person looks up and to the right they are lying and when they look up and to left they are telling the truth. The acclaimed rapid and powerful technique would have considerable value for the law enforcement community only if empirical research found support for its central assumptions. Thirty-two right-handed participants (20 female, 12 male, Mage = 22.3, age range: 18-56 years) including students, friends, family and co-workers volunteered to take part in the present study. An improved methodology was used incorporating both a previous NLP and lateral eye movement (LEM) research-base. Due to the nature of the claim the experimental manipulations reflecting a lie and a truth condition were based on previous lie detection research with considerable ecological validity. Two independent raters who were blind to the experimental conditions coded eye gazes and eye glances separately watching the edited video-clips of the interviews using a systematic coding procedure. The primary hypotheses and exploratory analyses failed to support the NLP practitioners claim. It reinforces that it is an unfounded claim lacking a solid empirical foundation. It has been formulated from an unregulated NLP discipline, which is unethical and should not be implicated into the law enforcement community until the proponents can verify its claim using a scientific evidence-base.