Investigating the detection of emotion concealment using the Gazepoint GP3 eye-tracker

Abstract: In the investigative field, the use of interviews as a method of gathering legally admissible information is in serious decline. Due to a greater understanding of human stress response and biometric measurements, previously objective tools such as the polygraph have been removed from the investigators toolkit. Newer methods of biometric monitoring can potentially help augment the classic interview setting. Utilizing video-based eye-tracking, our research looks to determine the difference between focus behaviour of participants concealing their emotions and those expressing freely. Participants are observed by the Gazepoint GP3 eye-tracker while being shown 7 stimulus videos through the iMotions software platform. These seven videos correspond to the 7 emotions monitored by the EMOTIENT module of the iMotions software. Our hypothesis contended that participants concealing their emotions would express lower focus levels on target stimuli than those allowed to express freely. Of fourteen participants tested, no significant difference was found in the average gaze behaviour across all seven stimuli. Male participants expressing openly however, showed statistically significant difference in gaze behaviour while viewing the “sadness” stimulus when compared against concealed males and unconcealed females. Further refinement to the study design may be able to find gaze behaviour reflecting deceptive intent, and the findings regarding the unconcealed male response to the sadness stimulus could serve as basis for further research with a more specific approach.

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