Misleading gestures in forensic interviews

A wealth of research has highlighted the susceptibility of eyewitnesses to verbal influence.

However, considerably less attention has been paid to the role of nonverbal influence in police questioning.

Under the supervision of Professor Karen Pine, Dr Daniel Gurney’s PhD evaluated the extent to which gestures can exert an influence on witnesses and skew their responses when questioned.

This research revealed that gestures can impact accurate eyewitness testimony and can be a powerful influential tool in police interviews.


Gurney, D. J. (2012). Gestural misinformation: Influencing others through gesture. In BPS Annual Conference, 18-20 April 2012 (p.65), London, UK: British Psychological Society.

Gurney, D.J., & Pine, K.J. (2009). Can misleading hand gestures influence? In Cognitive Psychology Section 26th Annual Conference, 1-2 September 2009 (p.44) University of Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire, UK: British Psychological Society.