At first I rolled my eyes at this study claiming that face masks improved the ability of jurors to detect lies. And then, the horrified realization of what they might have actually discovered: masks make everybody look like criminals!
Face masks make it EASIER for high court jurors to tell if witnesses are lying or telling the truth, study claims
By Ian Randall for Mailonline, 6 December 2021
High court jurors are actually better able to tell whether those on the stand are lying or telling the truth if the latter are wearing a face mask, a study has claimed.
University of Portsmouth-led experts studied how COVID has affected the lie-detecting capacities of juries via measures like face masks and virtual courtrooms.
They found that facial expressions and other non-verbal behaviours that might be lost behind a mask or over a video screen are in fact unreliable indicators of deceit.
Given this, masking these signals can make it easier for jurors to assess truthfulness — and suggest that anti-COVID measures are not detrimental to court proceedings.
That’s the motive behind this study. The eggheads wanted to show “lockdowns don’t wreck the system”.
In their study, Professors Vrij and Hartwig reviewed hundreds of past studies on deception, focussing on those that assessed how well we can identify lies based on non-verbal cues such as demeanour, gestures and facial expressions.
These indicated people are only able to correctly detect deceit based on these indicators half of the time — an accuracy rate little better than random guesswork.
According to the team, habitual liars know how to cover up tell-tale behaviours that might give a more truthful individual away.
Having served on juries myself, this is just ridiculous. The jury doesn’t sit close enough to check for microexpressions and subtle gestures. Even assuming that jurors have appropriate training, they aren’t given opportunity. Forget about tools.
‘We draw attention to fundamentally problematic aspects of lie detection — in particular, the fact that non-verbal behaviour is not helpful,’ explained Professor Vrij.
Thank you, Captain Obvious. The world would be a better place if everybody’s eyelid twitched when they lied. Or, if every liar was immediately struck by lightning. The latter situation is referred to by some as ‘heaven’.
The team also explored studies that looked at whether it was easier or not to detect a liar in person than it was via a recording or video call — finding that lies were spotted just as well in both face-to-face and virtual courtrooms.
Meaning that jurors are clueless either way. I went to the linked study, which wasn’t available except for the abstract:
Deception and Lie Detection in the Courtroom: The Effect of Defendants Wearing Medical Face Masks
During the COVID-19 pandemic, defendants and witnesses (as well as the prosecution and defense counsel) may wear medical face masks to prevent the spread of the virus. Alternatively, courtrooms proceedings may take place virtually. In this article, we discuss how these deviations from normal procedures may affect jurors’ lie detection ability and decision-making. Although research addressing this specific question does not exist…
Oh. Dangit, another fake headline supporting a fake study in order to justify a very real lockdown.
But then the suspicion hit me, that mask wearing might truly be influencing jurors! Which means that this no-research, certified-!Science! study is a dangerous lie. I already know that, for example, defense attorneys sometimes put fake glasses on Dindu defendants in order to make them look more nerdy and less thuggy.
…we are able to formulate an informed view based on the extensive deception literature. Since nonverbal signs of deception in the face and body are virtually absent, we conclude that medical face mask-wearing or virtual courtroom proceedings will not hamper jurors’ lie detection abilities. If jurors can hear the speech well, they may become better at detecting deception if they pay more attention to speech content, which may occur as a result of mask-wearing in the courtroom.
Sigh, yes, clear speaking enables jurors to better understand what they’re being told.
Screw these professional experts talking out of their asses! I’m gonna do the research that Tenured Faculty don’t want to!
26 June 2020
To combat unconscious biases in promotions, soldiers will no longer be required to include pictures of themselves or indicate their race or gender in promotion packets starting in August, Army officials said.
Prior to the change, both officers and enlisted soldiers had to submit a Department of Army photo of themselves and check a box on promotion packets to indicate their racial origin and gender.
These changes come as the Defense Department as a whole is looking at how to end racial disparities in promotions and the military’s justice system.
Promotion boards are very much like a jury trial. Now those nasty white supremacists won’t be able to keep the little black man down! Checkmate, Adolf!
3 August 2021
Removing photos from promotion and selection boards has had adverse effects on diversity, according to Vice Adm. John Nowell Jr., the chief of naval personnel.
“I think we should consider reinstating photos in selection boards,” Nowell said Tuesday at The Navy League’s 2021 Sea-Air-Space Exposition. “We look at, for instance, the one-star board over the last five years, and we can show you where, as you look at diversity, it went down with photos removed.”
The comments come a little more than a year after the Department of Defense moved to eliminate photos from promotion and selection boards.
“It’s a meritocracy. We’re only going to pick the best of the best, but we’re very clear with our language … that we want them to consider diversity across all areas. Right?” Nowell said. “And therefore … I think having a clear picture on this just makes it easier. So, actually, our data show that it would support adding photos back in.”
It worked. When jurors can’t see the person, they really do base their decisions only on the available information!
Prohibited Employment Policies/Practices
(As of December 2021)
Although state and federal equal opportunity laws do not clearly forbid employers from making pre-employment inquiries that relate to, or disproportionately screen out members based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, or age, such inquiries may be used as evidence of an employer’s intent to discriminate unless the questions asked can be justified by some business purpose…
Similarly, employers should not ask for a photograph of an applicant. If needed for identification purposes, a photograph may be obtained after an offer of employment is made and accepted.
Even the government recognizes that the ability to see a person’s face can influence the treatment that person receives. We should have been putting bags over the heads of defendants a long time ago because of equality, or equity, or Equifax… you know, the thing.
Or would that make them all look guilty? We should put all defendants in Fonzie masks.
By Hannah Jean Frank, 22 March 2019
This dissertation examines the effect of various aspects of defendant appearance on criminal case outcomes. Chapter One uses an experimental vignette study to investigate the effect of defendant race on conviction rates and assigned sentence length in the previously unexplored context of trials for nonviolent property crimes. The results indicate that white defendants are convicted more often and receive higher sentences than black defendants, in part due to race-based jury nullification.
THEY BURIED THIS SMOKING GUN!
However, the results also indicate that racial stereotypes disadvantaging black defendants affect both verdict and sentencing decisions. Chapter Two uses the same experimental vignette study as Chapter One to examine the effects of defendant dress and shackling. The results indicate that, at least in the context of trials for nonviolent property crimes, defendants in prison garb are convicted more often than defendants in civilian clothing by certain subgroups of mock jurors, providing empirical support for the Supreme Court’s holding in Estelle v. Williams, 425 U.S. 501 (1976). Additionally, defendants in prison garb are sentenced to significantly longer prison terms than defendants in casual civilian attire. Finally, Chapter Three provides the first empirical evidence on the effect of indiscriminate juvenile shackling on case outcomes. Recently, there has been a flurry of state action banning indiscriminate juvenile shackling by restricting the circumstances under which juveniles can be shackled in court. Using juvenile case data from North Carolina (where a ban on indiscriminate juvenile shackling was passed in 2007) and Tennessee (where no ban was passed until 2016) spanning 2004 to 2012, double-difference and triple-difference analyses are conducted in order to shed light on the effect of such bans.
So, face diapers would be increasing the conviction rate thanks to the Hannibal Lecter Mask Effect. If people were going to jail at all these days, I mean. These 2021 paid, tenured professors couldn’t be bothered to do enough homework to find a Vanderbilt study on their assigned topic two years ago that an Internet dudebro located in five minutes.
Speaking of ‘these’ professors, let’s look at whether face diapers really do affect the ability to detect lies.
WHAT ARE THE NINE WAYS TO SPOT A LIAR?
Notice I’m re-linking to the original article. For shame!
The big pause: Lying is quite a complex process for the body and brain to deal with. First your brain produces the truth which it then has to suppress before inventing the lie and the performance of that lie.
This often leads to a longer pause than normal before answering, plus a verbal stalling technique like ‘Why do you ask that?’ rather than a direct and open response.
Encounters with law enforcement being naturally stressful, this is not trustworthy.
The eye dart: Humans have more eye expressions than any other animal and our eyes can give away if we’re trying to hide something.
When we look up to our left to think we’re often accessing recalled memory, but when our eyes roll up to our right we can be thinking more creatively. Also, the guilt of a lie often makes people use an eye contact cut-off gesture, such as looking down or away.
Again, avoidant eye contact can easily be just stress.
The lost breath: Bending the truth causes an instant stress response in most people, meaning the fight or flight mechanisms are activated.
The mouth dries, the body sweats more, the pulse rate quickens and the rhythm of the breathing changes to shorter, shallower breaths that can often be both seen and heard.
Invisible thanks to masking. One point!
Overcompensating: A liar will often over-perform, both speaking and gesticulating too much in a bid to be more convincing. These over the top body language rituals can involve too much eye contact (often without blinking!) and over-emphatic gesticulation.
Two points! Body language doesn’t communicate well via Zoom.
The poker face: Although some people prefer to employ the poker face, many assume less is more and almost shut down in terms of movement and eye contact when they’re being economical with the truth.
The face hide: When someone tells a lie they often suffer a strong desire to hide their face from their audience. This can lead to a partial cut-off gesture like the well-know nose touch or mouth-cover.
Self-comfort touches: The stress and discomfort of lying often produces gestures that are aimed at comforting the liar, such as rocking, hair-stroking or twiddling or playing with wedding rings. We all tend to use self-comfort gestures but this will increase dramatically when someone is fibbing.
Micro-gestures: These are very small gestures or facial expressions that can flash across the face so quickly they are difficult to see. Experts will often use filmed footage that is then slowed down to pick up on the true body language response emerging in the middle of the performed lie.
The best time to spot these in real life is to look for the facial expression that occurs after the liar has finished speaking. The mouth might skew or the eyes roll in an instant give-away.
SIX! What is going on here?
Heckling hands: The hardest body parts to act with are the hands or feet and liars often struggle to keep them on-message while they lie.
To conclude, this article is titled “Face masks help jurors detect lies”, it quotes a study that claims jurors can’t tell either way and closes by offering nine tips for detecting lies… seven of which are made more difficult by face masks and teleconferencing. This Daily Mail article actually debunks itself. And when actual research was performed for ten minutes, the study indicated that wearing face masks would increase incarceration rates because Hannibal Lecter.
Which means, contra the professionals quoted above, jury trials ARE being biased by Plandemic lockdown rules.
Thanks for playing, University of Portsmouth. !Science!
P.S. The tenth way to spot a liar is “they won re-election”.