University of Twente Student Theses


A new approach to solving crimes : Do the eyes of a suspect reveal if they are guilty of a crime?

Büttner, C. (2019) A new approach to solving crimes : Do the eyes of a suspect reveal if they are guilty of a crime?

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Abstract:The aim of this study was to find out if eye-tracking might be a suitable alternative for polygraphs and if it can support finding a difference between guilty and innocent regarding the detection of deception. Therefore, a simulated interrogation in a lab setting was carried out. This study consisted of three conditions that were compared, i.e. a guilty condition, an innocent and an eyewitness condition. After participants read a scenario of a mock crime, the police interrogation took place in which participants needed to look at pictures of crime-relevant and crime-irrelevant objects as part of a Guilty Knowledge Test. During this task, their eye-fixation was measured. Overall, the outcomes show that eye fixation duration did differ between the innocent and the guilty condition, nevertheless, no significant difference was found for the witness condition. Results also support that participants in the guilty condition perceived the most stress during the interrogation. The findings indicate that eye-tracking might be a suitable measurement to differentiate between someone who is guilty and someone who is innocent and does not possess guilty knowledge, however, innocent people that do possess guilty knowledge are left out in this process. Hence, future research should take on here and see whether there might be better ways to integrate innocent people with guilty knowledge.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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