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Utilising motion capture technology to identify trusted testimony in military encounters

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Posterpeer-review

Publication date2/11/2016
<mark>Original language</mark>English
EventBPS Military Psychology Conference: Defence and security - Ark conference centre, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
Duration: 2/11/20162/11/2016


ConferenceBPS Military Psychology Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


Objectives:We use motion capture technology to examine whether or not soldiers unconsciously act differently toward untrustworthy interlocutors.Design:Participants interviewed six ‘citizens’ (confederates) about an illegal activity on a military base. We varied citizen trustworthiness by cooperativeness (either cooperative or non-cooperative) and knowledge (either genuine, absent, or false).
Methods:Forty University students wore an Xsens motion capture suit while interviewing the citizens, after which they made explicit trust judgments. Movement data were submitted to a linear mixed effects model with cooperation and knowledge as repeated measures, and interview order as a random effect.
Results:Greater overall body movement differentiated non-cooperative citizens from their counterparts, F(1, 1363.5) = 33.86, p < .001, and citizens with no knowledge from those with knowledge, F(1, 1363.1) = 3.01, p < .05. Participants’ explicit judgements only identified those who were uncooperative.
Conclusions:Interviewers could not judge whether an uncooperative citizen had valuable information, yet they reacted differently to those with valuable knowledge. Thus, using small-scale motion tracking sensors enables interviewers to identify uncooperative citizens concealing valuable information from other innocent, though not necessarily cooperative, citizens. Furthermore, monitoring nonverbal behaviour may be more effective at identifying threat than explicit judgments that rely on conscious awareness.