Skip to main content


The goal of this paper is to examine how body language can be used in the process of criminal investigation and to argue that proper training in the interpretation of body language is essential to its effective use. I go over the chances that the average person has of successfully identifying deceit, and provide evidence that these chances can be greatly raised with training. In looking at the face, we learn that clues are left for a brief time after someone tells a lie, and due to the short life of these clues I argue that it is all the more necessary that police officers, who are in greatest proximity to these clues of deception, should be armed with the tools needed to properly analyze them. Looking at the movement of the body, I discuss the Reid Technique, which separates movement into illustrators and adaptors. Because the Reid Technique inaccurately assumes that all adaptors are indicative of deception, I use this as a cautionary tale with the warning that the interpretation of body language should avoid assumptions and allow for the fact that the innocent will be nervous during an interview. In my conclusion, I connect this idea to both Othello and Hamlet, since both plays feature the reading of body language but only one achieved accurate results. The television show Lie to Me is mentioned in conjunction with facial expressions, and I proffer that the show, and others like it, may cause a rise in interest in this topic.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
19 Jul 2022
147 kB



  • Subject
    • English

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3213

  • Event date
    • 23 March 2018

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Donna Gessell