Nonverbal bilingualism: Deaf schemas of deception
Griffin, Darrin J.
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The Deaf are a community formed through a socio-linguistic acculturation process influenced by their use of signing to communicate. Signing includes verbal and nonverbal components, and reliance on vision as a primary channel of information gathering affects cognitive development, visual spatial skills, and facial recognition. This dissertation took on one domain involving the intense management of verbal and nonverbal communication -- deception -- and used this context to ascertain whether the Deaf use similar or different schemas than the hearing when processing behavioral information. Two studies addressed two critical questions: 1) Do Deaf and hearing populations apply different judgment schemata to Deaf and hearing people when they lie in a hypothetical deception situation? 2) Do Deaf and hearing populations apply different judgment schemas to Deaf and hearing people who might be lying when they are seen through a visual medium? Study 1 findings reveal that although both the Deaf and hearing described a hypothetical liar by citing an average of 3.5 cues, the Deaf participants cited more cues overall and cited significantly more instances of denials and body language based clues. The hearing participants cited more involuntary cues related to nervousness and fear (e.g., shaking) than the Deaf. Study 2 presented visual scenes of a possible liar to Deaf and hearing participants whilst experimentally manipulating the purported Deaf or hearing status of this possible liar to examine whether the visual information would activate different judgment schemas. The findings suggest that the hearing status of the liar significantly influences veracity judgments and the hearing status of the participant influences their judgment confidence. Implications for culture and deception research are discussed.