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Daily Insurance Industry News
Sunday 21st of January 2018
September 30, 2010

Researcher focuses on detecting insurance cheats

by Gill Montia

Story link: Researcher focuses on detecting insurance cheats

Insurance cheats stand a greater chance of being identified, and truth-tellers vindicated, as a result of new research into detecting lies.

Dr Sharon Leal, a research fellow at the University of Portsmouth and an expert in detecting deception, has recently embarked on a £112,000 study, funded by a leading insurance fraud investigation firm, to establish “ground truth” about how liars behave when making claims.

Her study is expected to give insurance fraud investigators the first evidence-based techniques for spotting liars.

Currently, insurance fraud investigators rely upon a range of tools and their instincts to identify liars; they may look for signs of nervousness or use voice stress analysis.

However, Dr Leal suggest that motivated liars do not fidget, avert their gaze or blink nervously and that because many people don’t see anything wrong with making a false claim they may not be feeling nervous or guilty when doing so.

She is therefore hopeful that a study of liars in laboratory conditions will identify the real clues that give liars away when making false insurance claims.

Dr Leal’s research has already shown that liars make extensive plans before they lie, but that truth-tellers don’t plan their “story”.

Because liars need to think about their plan when being questioned, this puts a large load on their brain, which in turn affects their behaviour.

She believes that these changes are most likely to form the basis of new investigative methods designed to spot the cheats.

 

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