Dawn M. Sweet

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Director Body Language and Facial Expressions Lab

email: sweet@iastate.edu

twitter: @nonverbal_isu

Education:

Ph.D. Communication, Rutgers University, 2008
M.A. English, Trenton State University
B.A. English and Secondary Education, Kean College

Research Interests:

My research examines the role of nonverbal communication in the contexts of hostile intent/threat assessment/adversarial behavior, deception, and mental health. I am particularly interested in how emotional states impact our behavior and subsequent interactions with others. My current research examines behavioral cues in emotionally charged high-risk/high-consequence situations that may be associated with hostile and non-hostile intent. Of particular interest is pre-incident indicators of violence, situational awareness and what we are attending to in our immediate environment and how we use this information to inform decisions about our actions. Emotional labor and communication-based de-escalation strategies are of interest as well. My research also examines nonverbal cues and gaiting patterns in individuals who are attempting to conceal a covert act. With respect to mental health, current projects include exploring body language and facial affect as diagnostic criteria for depression. I have worked on research projects funded by DARPA, Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, and the Naval Research Laboratory.

Ongoing Funded Research

  • Motorola Corporation: Project Title: Recognizing Hostile Intent Through Nonverbal Communication in Emotionally-Charged High-Risk/High Consequence Situations: Implications for Public Safety. Role: PI

     

Completed Funded Research

  • Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) Project titled:  Integrating machine learning and knowledge representation for discovery of social goals of groups and group members from their language usage. Role: Co-PI. (Award: $1,420,173)
     
  • Naval Research Laboratory (NRL): The goal of this research was to develop a conceptual and theoretical framework for frame by frame coding actions located in the body that are presumably linked with deception. Role: PI (Award: $100,000)

                                    

Pending Support

  • Department of Homeland Security: Project Title: Parsing intention in crowds: Nonverbal cues associated with attempts to conceal an unstable device Role: PI (requested amount $500,000 est.; Oct 2013 submission – contingent on Gov’t shutdown)
  • DARPA BAA 11-34: I20 Project Title: Identifying Patterns of Behavior: Recognizing Intention through Visible Behavior in High-risk/High Consequence Environments Role: PI (requested amount $399,624, decision pending)

 

Publications

Under Review

  • Sweet, D.M., Vogel, D.L., & Pazian, M. Mitigating errors in depression screening and diagnosis: Facial affect, body language, and language as communicative markers for depression (under review)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Kroeger, K. Modeling suspicious behavior in crowds: A preliminary model of nonverbal cues associated with malintent in a crowd setting (under review)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Pazian, M.P. The Body Action Coding System: A conceptual framework for recording and identifying behavior (under review)
  • Sweet, D.M., Kroeger, K., & Geiselman, R.E. Detecting threat: Nonverbal cues associated with suspicious behavior in crowds during attempts to conceal an unstable device (under review)

Manuscripts in Preparation

  • Sweet, D.M., & Geiselman, R.E. Gestures and language as indicators of truthful accounts of self-experience (peer-review article – data analysis)
  • Sweet, D.M., Morris, A., & Kroeger, K. Gaze patterns and decision making: Visual expertise in identifying suspicious behavior in crowds (data collection phase)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Jacobs, C.J. Attention and emotional awareness in emotionally charged high-risk/high-consequence situations (invited book chapter, FEAR: Forensic Emotion Awareness – Realtime; University of Lancanshire)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Jacobs, C.J. Street-level threat assessment protocol (invited book chapter, FEAR: Forensic Emotion Awareness – Realtime; University of Lancanshire)
  • Pazian, M., & Sweet, D.M. Behavioral control strategies for facial affect: Is it possible? protocol (invited book chapter, FEAR: Forensic Emotion Awareness – Realtime; University of Lancanshire)

 

Embargoed Publications

  • Sweet, D.M. (2009). Nonverbal cues to deception (Embargoed).
  • Sweet, D.M., & Pazian, M.P. (2009). The Body Action Coding System (BACS): A methodological approach for assessing hostile intent (Embargoed)
  • Sweet, et al. (2009). Is it what you say? Detecting deception in responses to speculative questions. (Embargoed).
  • Sweet, D.M. et al. (2008). Posture and deception (Embargoed)

White Papers 

  • Sweet, D.M., & Jacobs, C.J. (2013). Assessing Threat in High-Risk/High-Consequence Situations, prepared for Department of Homeland Security (vetting for full proposal)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Kroeger, K. (2013). Parsing Intention in Crowds, prepared for the Department of Homeland Security (proposal stage)
  • Sweet, D.M., Morris, A., & Vogel, D.L. (2012). Identifying Patterns of Behavior: Recognizing Intention through Visible Behavior in High-Risk/High-Consequence Environments (prepared for Iowa State Proof of Concept Presidential Initiative, invited for full proposal)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Vogel, D.L. (2012). Mitigating errors in depression screening and diagnosis: Facial affect, body language, and language as communicative markers for depression (prepared for Iowa State Proof of Concept Presidential Initiative, not invited for full proposal)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Morris, A. (2012). Body language as cues to aggressive behavior (prepared for IARPA)
  • Sweet, D.M. (2011). Identifying patterns of behavior: Recognizing intention through visible behavior in high-risk/high consequence environments. (prepared for DARPA)
  • Sweet, D.M., & Pazian, M. (2011). Hostile intent: identifying behavioral patterns of threat. (prepared for TSA)
  • Sweet, D.M. (2009). Identifying behaviors linked to explosive threat emplacement. (Prepared for Naval Research Laboratory)

Unfunded Ongoing Research

  • Law enforcement officers’ compliance-gaining strategies in high-risk/High-consequence situations (data collection stage)
  • Recognizing intention through visible behavior (preparing manuscript)
  • Assessing threat: Suspicious behaviors in crowds (manuscript review/preparation stage)
  • Behavior-based strategies in deception (data collection stage)
  • Gestures and language: Differences between accounts of lived experience and fabricated accounts of lived experience
  • Movement patterns associated with neurological conditions in small animals

Selected Presentations

Svetieva, E., & Sweet, D. M. (2010, November). Deception and the body: Replicating, improving and extending analyses of bodily movement in deception. Paper presented at National Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.

Sweet, D. M., & Mokros, H. B. (2009, November). An exploratory microanalysis of mutuality during father-son play. Paper presented at National Communication Association, Chicago, IL.

Frank, M. G., Menasco, M. A., Sweet, D., & Pazian, M. (2007, August). Behavioral methods and paradigms for understanding deception. Paper presented at Symposium entitled: Methodological and technological advancement in lie detection: Implications for law enforcement and the legal system. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

Sweet, D. M., & Menasco, J. (2007, May). Beliefs about body posture and deception. Paper presented at International Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.

Aragona, D., Hurley, C., & Sweet, D. M. (2007, May). Is it what you say? Detecting deception in responses to speculative questions. Paper presented at International Communication Association, San Francisco, CA.

Sweet, D. M., & Mokros, H. B. (2006, November). Decision making in interation: A microanalysis of a father and son's activity during moment-to-moment play interaction. Paper presented at National Communication Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Courses Taught:

ComSt 325 Nonverbal Communication
ComSt 203 Research Methods
ComSt 404 Senior Research Seminar

Contact Information:

366 Carver
sweet@iastate.edu
(515)294-6370

Dawn M. Sweet, Ph.D.