Strong Diagnostic Questioning Effects on Deception Detection Accuracy With U.S. Customs Agents

Academic Article


  • Recent communication research shows several paths to improving accuracy in deception detection. According to truth-default theory, one promising approach is diagnostic questioning. A sample of elite U.S. Customs agents participated in a deception detection task. Agents viewed senders who were interrogated with one of three different sets of questions that differed in diagnostic utility. The different questioning sets produced a 36-point swing in accuracy from 42% to 78% accuracy. These findings demonstrate that how someone is questioned can make a substantial difference in deception detection accuracy and that improved accuracy is possible with diagnostic questioning.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Levine TR
  • Start Page

  • 84
  • End Page

  • 87
  • Volume

  • 34
  • Issue

  • 1