The Accuracy of Auditors' and Layered Voice Analysis (LVA) Operators' Judgments of Truth and Deception During Police Questioning


  • An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, February 16–21, 2009, in Denver, CO.

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Frank Horvath, Ph.D.

Michigan State University

Professor Emeritus

108 Columbia Club Dr.-W

Blythewood, SC 29016



The purpose of this study was to determine if auditors could identify truthful and deceptive persons in a sample (n = 74) of audio recordings used to assess the effectiveness of layered voice analysis (LVA). The LVA employs an automated algorithm to detect deception, but it was not effective here. There were 31 truthful and 43 deceptive persons in the sample and two LVA operators averaged 48% correct decisions on truth-tellers and 25% on deceivers. Subsequent to the LVA analysis the recordings were audited by three interviewers, each independently rendering a decision of truthful or deceptive and indicating their confidence. Auditors' judgments averaged 68% correct decisions on truth-tellers and 71% on deceivers. Auditors' detection rates, generally, exceeded chance and there was significantly (p < 0.05) greater confidence on correct than incorrect judgments of deceivers but not on truth-tellers. These results suggest that the success reported for LVA analysis may be due to operator's judgment.