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Sandra Caramela-Miller


False confessions and unproductive criminal investigations have resulted in misidentification of verbal and nonverbal deceptive cues. Further, the association of deceptive behavioral responses has not been confirmed based upon quantifiable graphological discrepancies. Guided by the 4-factor model for deceptive behavior, the purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between psycholinguistic cues and graphological spacing discrepancies. Handwriting samples were gathered from a stratified group of college students and law enforcement officers in rural Illinois and Tennessee (n = 113). The research was designed to determine whether graphological spacing discrepancies were evident in left margin indentions, word spacing, and sentence spacing. Two-way analyses of variance by ranks were conducted, combining these spacing discrepancies in a way to maximize the differences between the groups of truthful and deceptive statements. Through multiple regression analyses, the contributing variances were explained, as seen from participants' multiple psychological inventory scores and total spacing variances. Two-way analyses of variance were also conducted with the intent of discovering whether an interaction effect occurred, between deception-induced cognitive load and spontaneous or memory-related influences on graphological traits. Results were confirmed for statistically significant differences between truthful and deceptive sentences, containing spacing variances. Implications for positive social change include fewer false confessions during police investigations and interrogation reports with empirically based findings.

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