Workshop on Science of Deception

Geoff Mumford, Director of Science Policy, is collaborating with Susan Brandon, Emotional Processes Program Chief, National Institute of Mental Health, staff at RAND Corporation, and agencies within the intelligence community to coordinate an invitational workshop entitled "The Science of Deception: Integration of Practice and Theory," to be held at RAND in Arlington, VA in July 2003.

Geoff Mumford, Director of Science Policy, is collaborating with Susan Brandon, Emotional Processes Program Chief, National Institute of Mental Health, staff at RAND Corporation, and agencies within the intelligence community to coordinate an invitational workshop entitled "The Science of Deception: Integration of Practice and Theory," to be held at RAND in Arlington, VA in July 2003.

The goal of the meeting is to bring together individuals with a need to know and use deception in service of national defense/security, with those who investigate the phenomena and mechanisms of deception. Those participants concerned primarily with application and the operational use of deception will provide discussion points and questions. Those participants who come with some research expertise will be given a brief opportunity to describe their investigations. The bulk of the day will be spent in discussions focused on the topics and questions provided by the intelligence community.

This meeting will be similar in format and intent to a meeting convened in February 2002 by the APA, the University of Pennsylvania (Solomon Asch Center for the Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict) and the FBI Academy entitled "Countering Terrorism: Integration of Practice and Theory." This rather unique congregation of people formed in response to the attacks on 9/11, which appeared to both mobilize the academic research community and encourage the law enforcement and intelligence communities to seek advice and aid for their new challenges. The format of the conference allowed each participant to offer expertise and perspective; the intent was to provide a meeting place for "practitioners" and "theorists." Additional background and a summary of those proceedings are available on APA's Government Relations website.

We have invited some researchers whose expertise appears to be completely within the domain of deception, and some whose expertise may be more tangential, in the hopes that a diverse group will increase the likelihood of creative solutions and offer new perspectives on common problems. One outcome of the February FBI Academy conference was that researcher participants did not just provide expertise, but were challenged with new questions and issues that were useful to their own research agendas.

Possible topics of discussion include deception detection; deception denial; interpersonal and strategic persuasion; author attribution; deception strategies in interviews and negotiation; nonverbal deception cues; motivations to deceive; methods of deception in the nonhuman animal world; social psychological influences on deception detection; prediction of one's own and other's emotional and motivational characteristics; attribution theory; the role of implicit factors in persuasion; and the interactional functions of speech