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Interrogation, Confession, and Lie Detection


The science of forensic and legal psychology heavily relies on lie detection. In their book “Forensic and Legal Psychology,” Costanzo and Krauss detail the nuances of lie detection. The chapter’s main ideas, patterns, and trends are examined in this paper, along with how they relate to problems in psychology and the legal system from a Christ-centered point of view.

Key Points, Patterns, and Trends

The second chapter of “Forensic and Legal Psychology” focuses on several important ideas related to lie detection. It starts by discussing different behavioural signs frequently linked to deceit, including nonverbal clues like avoiding eye contact and fidgeting, verbal cues like qualifying comments and giving conflicting details, and physiological cues like elevated heart rate and perspiration. These signals act as warning signs that can help spot deceit.

However, it also discusses the restraints of lie detection techniques, specifically emphasizing the polygraph test (Costanzo & Krauss, 2010). The writers stress that although the polygraph can yield useful facts, it could be better and occasionally yields false pros, positives or untrue cons. The section also emphasizes the significance of employing a numerous-method way, integrating detectable viewing, physiological monitoring, and analytical scrutiny to improve lie detection accuracy.

Additionally, the chapter also discusses the moral issues raised by the usage of lie-detecting techniques. It underlines the necessity of exercising caution and accountability while using these approaches because they may jeopardize a person’s privacy and rights. The authors also stress the significance of considering cultural and environmental considerations when evaluating behavioural clues because deceit can take many different forms across cultures.

Application to Psychology and the Legal System

There are substantial ramifications for psychology and the judicial system from the facts in Chapter 2. Understanding the patterns and indicators linked to deception in psychology can help in several contexts, including forensic evaluations, criminal investigations, and therapy (Costanzo & Krauss, 2010). Psychologists can improve information gathering, judge the reliability of witnesses or suspects, and aid in pursuing the truth in court by recognizing these cues.

Using lie detection techniques in court can help prove or disprove a defendant’s allegations and the testimony of witnesses. Recognizing these methodologies’ drawbacks and potential biases is crucial, though. Legal practitioners can make better decisions concerning the employment of lie-detection tools in court by using psychological research to help them understand the validity and reliability of the procedures.

Analysis from a Christ-Centered Perspective

Lie detection poses various ethical and moral issues from a Christ-centered approach. Christianity values Honesty highly because, as Jesus declared in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (ESV). Honesty-seeking is, therefore, consistent with Christian fundamentals and Jesus’ teachings. Therefore, the faithful must seek Honesty to promote love, compassion, and the healing of broken connections and fairness.

Ensuring that lie-detecting strategies are applied properly and with exact values is essential. Respecting the honour and privacy of all involved while protecting equity and fairness is what this means. Christians must be aware of the possible harm that improper or erroneous lie-detecting techniques might do to innocent people.

A Christ-centered viewpoint also forces us to think about the themes of forgiveness and redemption central to Christianity. However, it is crucial to approach people with grace and compassion, acknowledging the possibility of change and progress. Lie detection can help establish truth in legal circumstances. A Christ-centered strategy emphasizes restorative justice, which aims to make amends and rehabilitate those who have acted dishonestly rather than only emphasizing sanctions.

Therefore, using ethical issues in lie-detecting techniques becomes crucial from a Christ-centered perspective. Important components that ought to be incorporated into the practice of lie detection include respecting individual privacy, human dignity, and the risk of false accusations (Costanzo & Krauss, 2010). Christians are called to put others’ well-being and spiritual development first and to treat everyone with love and compassion, even when there is deception.


Furthermore, the chapter does not examine the moral ramifications of deploying lie-detecting techniques within a Christian context. There are concerns about privacy invasion, the possibility of unfounded allegations, and the requirement for humility and compassion when interacting with those who have acted dishonestly. These factors must be considered to ensure that lie detection methods are used in a way that respects Christian principles.

Another criticism is that the chapter needs to give more thought to the various biases and restrictions of lie detection techniques. Although the writers know the polygraph test’s drawbacks, more study is needed to determine the moral ramifications and potential dangers of depending too much on these strategies. A Christ-centered view would stress the significance of striking a balance between the search for sincerity and the values of fairness, mercy, and regard for human honour.


Chapter 2 of “Forensic and Legal Psychology” offers insightful material on lie detection but falls short in discussing the spiritual elements of truth and the transformative power of redemption and forgiveness from a Christ-centered perspective. The topic of lie detection can be treated with greater sensitivity by including a more thorough examination that incorporates Christian ideals and principles, encouraging justice, compassion, and the quest for truth in psychology and the legal system.


Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D. (2010). Forensic and legal psychology. Macmillan.


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