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Culver-raised Geiselman impacts world via detection methods

September 3, 2011

Culver High School graduate (class of 1967) Edward Geiselman has been making waves nationally due to his innovations in the study of truth-telling, something he's developed through his years as a psychology professor at UCLA, where he's taught for nearly 33 years.
Geiselman has taught investigative interviewing techniques to members of the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Marines, the Los Angeles police and sheriff's departments, and several international agencies.
Geiselman and UCLA colleagues examined around 60 studies on discerning deception -- in addition to their own research -- to identify red flags for spotting deception in individuals. Geiselman and colleagues' recommendations on conducting training programs for deception spotting were published in the April issue of the American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry.
The work is particularly relevant in this era post-Osama bin Laden era of heightened terrorism concerns, besides the daily needs of those in domestic police work.
In a story published on UCLA's website, Geiselman discussed "red flags" which may alert authorities in an airport, for example, of reasons for suspicion, methods tested on hundreds of UCLA students and thousands of other individuals.
"People can learn to perform better at detecting deception," said Geiselman in the article. "However, police departments usually do not provide more than a day of training for their detectives, if that, and the available research shows that you can't improve much in just a day.
"Without training, many people think they can detect deception, but their perceptions are unrelated to their actual ability. Quick, inadequate training sessions lead people to over-analyze and to do worse than if they go with their gut reactions."
Geiselman's work has taken him to Hong Kong to aid in investigative interviewing to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and similar techniques he developed prior to the second Iraq war may have saved many lives, he was told. Work with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has been helpful in interview potentially molested children and he's aided various police departments nationally in murder cases gone cold.
He's at work on a training program he hopes can stand in for years of experience in detecting deception. Over the following year, he'll be working with underserved police departments through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Rural Policing Institute, something he says will be a good fit since he's from Culver, described in the article as "a small town that has fewer residents than UCLA has psychology majors."
Geiselman says he loved his educational experience at Culver High School.
"A couple teachers took an interest in me and channeled my life in a very positive way," he recalls. "I graduated Purdue and then Ohio University before moving on to UCLA."
Many present Culverites may know Geiselman's parents, Ralph and Francis, even if they haven't seen Edward himself in a few years.
"My parents are living saints," he says, "as many Culverites know very well. My father and mother put me through college, working very hard (him at Bendix and her at CMA). At 90, they are fully functional at their home, still driving, shopping, feeding the birds, and much more. They go to church every Sunday."
To read the complete UCLA article on Geiselman's findings, including specific behavior clues he's pinpointed in deception, visit www.newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/how-to-tell-when-someone-s-lying-20264....

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