Aviation Security: TSA Should Limit Future Funding for Behavior Detection Activities

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In November 2013, GAO reported that (1) peer-reviewed, published research we reviewed did not support whether nonverbal behavioral indicators can be used to reliably identify deception, (2) methodological issues limited the usefulness of DHS's April 2011 SPOT validation study, and (3) variation in referral rates raised questions about the use of indicators. GAO reported that its review of meta-analyses (studies that analyze other studies and synthesize their findings) that included findings from over 400 studies related to detecting deception conducted over the past 60 years, other academic and ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. November 14, 2013.

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In November 2013, GAO reported that (1) peer-reviewed, published research we reviewed did not support whether nonverbal behavioral indicators can be used to reliably identify deception, (2) methodological issues limited the usefulness of DHS's April 2011 SPOT validation study, and (3) variation in referral rates raised questions about the use of indicators. GAO reported that its review of meta-analyses (studies that analyze other studies and synthesize their findings) that included findings from over 400 studies related to detecting deception conducted over the past 60 years, other academic and government studies, and interviews with experts in the field, called into question the use of behavior observation techniques, that is, human observation unaided by technology, as a means for reliably detecting deception. The meta-analyses GAO reviewed collectively found that the ability of human observers to accurately identify deceptive behavior based on behavioral cues or indicators is the same as or slightly better than chance (54 percent). GAO also reported on other studies that do not support the use of behavioral indicators to identify mal-intent or threats to aviation."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • November 14, 2013

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Aviation Security: TSA Should Limit Future Funding for Behavior Detection Activities, text, November 14, 2013; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc298491/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.