Using Technology to Examine Cultural Learning of African-Americans: Verbal and Nonverbal Messages of Deception

Using Technology to Examine Cultural Learning of African-Americans: Verbal and Nonverbal Messages of Deception

Michael L. Whitley (Park University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9624-2.ch042
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Abstract

Police officers frequently work with people of different cultures and those who speak different languages, thus needing to learn cultures (Navarro, 2001). The purpose of this case is to examine the self-perceptions of African-Americans regarding their ability to distinguish deception in interpersonal communication. RQ1: How do African-Americans self-report their ability to detect interpersonal communication deception? RQ2: What behaviors do African-Americans believe are indicators of interpersonal communication deception? The method of study is survey research conducted through SurveyMonkey.com. Participants (n=57) discuss their perceptions of deception in their lives. The results suggest that respondents (80%) believe they are better than others at detecting deception. The literature findings also suggest that African-Americans believe themselves to be more effective at detecting deception within their own ethnic group compared to other ethnic groups. Commensurate with previous deception studies, the current study finds that an array of communication behaviors, believed to be indicative of deceit by other ethnic groups, are also used by African-American respondents.
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Setting The Stage

Police officers frequently work with people of different cultures and those who speak different languages, thus needing to learn cultures. In this case, a police officer used technology to seek information from African Americans about their perceptions of verbal and nonverbal communication related to deception. Deception has been the subject of a vast amount of communication research (Levine, Shaw, & Shulman, 2010a). This research has been rather broad in scope, examining many facets of deceptive communication behaviors. Researchers have examined the effect of stakes on deceivers’ behaviors, the effect of probing questions, the reliability of perceived nonverbal indicators of deception, and a plethora of related data.

Perhaps most interesting to the current researcher has been the impact of cultural research on the study of deception in interpersonal communication (Bailey, Nowicki, & Cole, 1998; Park & Ahn, 2007; Seiter & Wiseman, 1995). Researchers have compared the abilities of various cultures to detect deceptive communication, e.g., Korean versus American; Latino-American versus Asian-American versus Caucasian-American. Research has even examined a number of gender-based studies, comparing the accuracy rates of females and males in detecting deception. Scant attention, however, has been paid to how African-Americans fit and compare in similar studies. It is for this reason the current researcher has endeavored to examine African-American attitudes toward deceptive communication.

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