Author Biography

Principal Investigator: CA Morgan III MD, MA (GS-15), Forensic Psychiatrist, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine & National Center for PTSD, VA Connecticut, West Haven, CT. Dr. Morgan received his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1986; He completed his residency training in psychiatry at Yale University in 1990. He then joined the faculty of medicine at Yale University & the National Center for PTSD and has been with them for the past 22 years. Dr. Morgan has received grants and has published over 100 peer reviewed scientific papers on learning, stress, PTSD and performance in Special Operations forces. For his work Dr. Morgan was awarded the US Army Award for Patriotic Service in 2008 and awarded the 2010 Sir Henry Welcome Medal and Prize for his development of interventions to buffer the negative impact of stress on human cognition, memory, learning and operational performance. Dr. Morgan served as an intelligence officer (2003-2010) with the Central Intelligence Agency and was a government member of the US Intelligence Science Board; The products developed from his DoD and IC research have been vetted and validated domestically as well as in a theatre of operations (Afghanistan). In addition to his work at Yale and the National Center for PTSD, Dr. Morgan is currently an Operational Advisor to the United States Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group.



Subject Area Keywords

Intelligence studies/education, Methodology, Psychology, Security studies, Terrorism / counterterrorism


National security professionals have few scientifically valid methods for detecting deception in people who deny being involved in illicit activities relevant to national security. Numerous detecting deception studies have demonstrated that the Modified Cognitive Interviewing (MCI) method is one such method - yielding detecting deception rates (i.e. 80-85%) that are significantly above those achieved by chance (i.e. 50%) or by human judgments (i.e. 54-56%). To date, however, no MCI studies have involved dilemmas of ethological interest to national security professionals. This project begins to address this gap in the scientific literature. In it, we compared the efficacy of MCI to that of human judgments for detecting deception in scientists with expertise in biological materials. Sixty-four scientists were recruited for study; 12 met with a “terrorist” and were paid to make biological materials for illicit purposes. All 64 scientists were interviewed by investigators with law enforcement experience about the bio-threat issue. MCI elicited speech content differences in deceptive, compared to truthful scientists. This resulted in a classification accuracy of 84.4%; Accuracies for Human Judgments (interviewers/raters) were 54% and 46%, respectively. MCI required little time and its efficacy suggests it is reasonable to recommend its use to national security experts.