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Abstract

Background Lying through omitting information has been neglected in verbal lie detection research. The task is challenging: Can we decipher from the truthful information a lie teller provides that s/he is hiding something? We expected this to be the case because of lie tellers’ inclination to keep their stories simple. We predicted lie tellers to provide fewer details and fewer complications than truth tellers, the latter particularly after exposure to a Model Statement. Method A total of 44 truth tellers and 41 lie tellers were interviewed about a conversation (debriefing interview) they had taken part in earlier. Lie tellers were asked not to discuss one aspect of that debriefing interview. Results Results showed that truth tellers reported more complications than lie tellers after exposure to a Model Statement. Conclusion Ideas about future research in lying through omissions are discussed.

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... They then delivered the package to the Data Analyst in a room at the department. Similar missions were carried out in previous research [36,52]. ...
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Background: Sketching while narrating is an effective interview technique for eliciting information and cues to deceit. The current research examined the effects of introducing a Model Sketch in investigative interviews andis pre-registered on https://osf.io/kz9mc (accessed on 18 January 2022). Methods: Participants (N = 163) completed a mock mission and were asked to tell the truth or to lie about it in an interview. In Phase 1 of the interview, participants provided either a free recall (control condition), sketched and narrated with exposure to a Model Sketch (Model Sketch-present condition), or sketched and narrated without exposure to a Model Sketch (Model Sketch-absent condition). In Phase 2, all participants provided a free recall without sketching. Results: Truth tellers reported significantly more information than lie tellers. The Model Sketch elicited more location details than a Free recall in Phase 1 and more veracity differences than the other Modality conditions in Phase 2. Conclusion: The Model Sketch seems to enhance the elicitation of information and to have carryover veracity effects in a follow-up free recall.
... They argued that when lying through omitting information, where the information lie tellers provide is entirely truthful, lie tellers may use the same strategy as they use when telling total falsehoods: 'to keep it simple'. Leal et al. (2020) thus hypothesised that even in lying through omissions scenarios, lie tellers still may include fewer details and fewer complications in their accounts than truth tellers. No difference emerged for total details but lie tellers indeed included fewer complications in their statements than truth tellers. ...
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Over the last 30 years deception researchers have changed their attention from observing nonverbal behaviour to analysing speech content. However, many practitioners we speak to are reluctant to make the change from nonverbal to verbal lie detection. In this article we present what practitioners believe is problematic about verbal lie detection: the interview style typically used is not suited for verbal lie detection; the most diagnostic verbal cue to deceit (total details) is not suited for lie detection purposes; practitioners are looking for signs of deception but verbal deception researchers are mainly examining cues that indicate truthfulness; cut-off points (decision rules to decide when someone is lying) do not exist; different verbal indicators are required for different types of lie; and verbal veracity indicators may be culturally defined. We discuss how researchers could address these problems. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Article
Interviewees sometimes deliberately omit reporting some information. Such omission lies differ from other lies because all the information interviewees present may be entirely truthful. Truth tellers and lie tellers carried out a mission. Truth tellers reported the entire mission truthfully. Lie tellers were also entirely truthful but left out one element of the mission. In truth tellers’ statements, only the parts that lie tellers were also asked to recall were analysed. Interviews were carried out via the Cognitive Credibility Assessment, Reality Interview, or standard interview protocol. Dependent variables were the details, complications and verifiable sources interviewees reported. A questionnaire measured three deception strategies: ‘Tell it all’, ‘keep it simple’ or ‘paying attention to demeanour’. Lie tellers reported fewer details, complications and verifiable sources than truth tellers and reporting these variables was negatively correlated with the ‘keep it simple’ and ‘demeanour’ strategies. The type of interview protocol did not affect the results. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Article
Practitioners frequently inform us that variable ‘total details' is not suitable for lie detection purposes in real life interviews. Practitioners cannot count the number of details in real time and the threshold of details required to classify someone as a truth teller or a lie teller is unknown. The authors started to address these issues by examining three new verbal veracity cues: complications, common knowledge details, and self-handicapping strategies. We present a meta-analysis regarding these three variables and compared the results with ‘total details'. Truth tellers reported more details (d = 0.28 to d = 0.45) and more complications (d = 0.51 to d = 0.62) and fewer common knowledge details (d = -0.40 to d = -0.46) and self-handicapping strategies (d = -0.37 to d = -0.50) than lie tellers. Complications was the best diagnostic veracity cue. The findings were similar for the initial free recall and the second recall in which only new information was examined. Four moderators (scenario, motivation, modality, and interview technique) did not affect the results. As a conclusion, complications in particular appear to be a good veracity indicator but more research is required. We included suggestions for such research. © 2021 Colegio Oficial de la Psicología de Madrid. All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter
The real-world applicability of content-based tools for distinguishing lies from truths depends on several issues and challenges. For example, individual differences in language style or verbal ability make the decision on an individual case difficult, and interviewee acquaintance with a tool can hamper its effectiveness. The current chapter focuses on the verifiability approach (VA), a new content-based tool. The VA is centered on the knowledge that truth-tellers provide more verifiable details than liars. When liars try to make an impression of honesty by providing many details, they prefer to provide details that are difficult to verify over details that are easy to verify. Thus, the verifiability levels of interviewee accounts are used as indicators for veracity. The applicability of VA to the real world is discussed with respect to several factors, and compared to that of other verbal and nonverbal lie detection tools.
Article
Background: We examined whether the verbal cue, proportion of complications, was a more diagnostic cue to deceit than the amount of information provided (e.g., total number of details). Method: In the experiment, 53 participants were interviewed. Truth tellers (n = 27) discussed a trip they had made during the last twelve months; liars (n = 26) fabricated a story about such a trip. The interview consisted of an initial recall followed by a model statement (a detailed account of an experience unrelated to the topic of investigation) followed by a post-model statement recall. The key dependent variables were the amount of information provided and the proportion of all statements that were complications. Results: The proportion of complications was significantly higher amongst truth tellers than amongst liars, but only in the post-model statement recall. The amount of information provided did not discriminate truth tellers from liars in either the initial or post-model statement recall. Conclusion: The proportion of complications is a more diagnostic cue to deceit than the amount of information provided as it takes the differential verbal strategies of truth tellers and liars into account.
Article
We examined how the presence of an interpreter during an interview affects eliciting information and cues to deceit, while using a method that encourages interviewees to provide more detail (model statement, MS). A total of 199 Hispanic, Korean and Russian participants were interviewed either in their own native language without an interpreter, or through an interpreter. Interviewees either lied or told the truth about a trip they made during the last twelve months. Half of the participants listened to a MS at the beginning of the interview. The dependent variables were ‘detail’, ‘complications’, ‘common knowledge details’, ‘self-handicapping strategies’ and ‘ratio of complications’. In the MS-absent condition, the interviews resulted in less detail when an interpreter was present than when an interpreter was absent. In the MS-present condition, the interviews resulted in a similar amount of detail in the interpreter present and absent conditions. Truthful statements included more complications and fewer common knowledge details and self-handicapping strategies than deceptive statements, and the ratio of complications was higher for truth tellers than liars. The MS strengthened these results, whereas an interpreter had no effect on these results.
Chapter
People are generally poor at detecting deceit when observing someone’s behaviour or listening to their speech. In this chapter I will discuss the major factors (pitfalls) that lead to failures in catching liars: the sixteen reasons I will present are clustered into three categories: (i) a lack of motivation to detect lies; (ii) difficulties associated with lie detection; and (iii) common errors made by lie detectors. Discussing pitfalls provides insight into how lie detectors can improve their performance (for example, by recognising common biases and avoiding common judgment errors). The second section of this chapter discusses 11 ways (opportunities) to improve lie detection skills. Within this section, I first provide five recommendations for avoiding common errors in detecting lies. Next, I discuss recent lie detection research that introduces novel interview styles aimed at eliciting and enhancing verbal and nonverbal differences between liars and truth tellers. The recommendations are relevant in various settings, from the individual level (e.g., “Is my partner really working late?”) to the societal level (e.g., “Can we trust this suspect when he claims that he is not the serial rapist the police are searching for?”).
Article
We examined how the presence of an interpreter during an interview affects eliciting information and cues to deceit, whilst using a method that encourages interviewees to provide more detail (model statement, MS). Sixty native English speakers were interviewed in English, and 186 non-native English speakers were interviewed in English or through an interpreter. Interviewees either lied or told the truth about a mock security meeting, which they reported twice: in an initial free recall and after listening to the MS. The MS resulted in the native English speakers and those interviewed with an interpreter providing more reminiscences (additional detail) than the non-native English speakers interviewed without an interpreter. As a result, those interviewed through an interpreter provided more detail than the non-native English speakers, but only after the MS. Native English participants were most detailed in both recalls. No difference was found in the amount of reminiscences provided by liars and truth tellers.Copyright
Article
The current paper describes potential systematic errors (or biases) that may appear while applying content-based lie detection tools, by focusing on richness in detail – a core indicator in verbal tools – as a test case. Two categories of biases are discussed: those related to the interviewees (i.e., interviewees with different characteristics differ in the number of details they provide when lying or telling the truth) and those related to the tool expert (i.e., tool experts with different characteristics differ in the way they perceive and interpret verbal cues). We suggested several ways to reduce the influence of these biases, and emphasized the need for future studies in this matter.
Article
The success of a criminal investigation often depends on witness statements, particularly if no other evidence is available. This is typically – although not exclusively – the case in sexual-abuse cases. The fundamental question to be answered in evaluating a witness statement is whether or not (and to what extent) the statement is a correct and complete description of the event in question. Answering this question first requires the identification of potential sources of incorrect accounts. Based on this information appropriate diagnostic procedures and techniques can be applied in order to assess the probability of the correctness of the statement. An account may differ from the facts for two possible reasons (see Figure 3.1): A witness, who is motivated to give a correct account of the events in question may be subject to unintentional errors, or The witness deliberately and intentionally tells a lie. The crucial difference between these alternatives is in the witnesses' motivation. Furthermore, in both cases one can think of stable personal or of transient situational factors as the major cause for incorrect accounts. For example, sensory or intellectual deficiencies may prevent a witness from perceiving or reporting certain events. On the other hand, darkness or lack of attention may result in incomplete perceptions in a certain situation. Similarly, intentional distortions or complete lies can be conceived as being caused by stable personality factors like antisociality (which affect what has been called ‘general credibility of the witness’) or by a situation-specific motivation to tell a lie (which impacts on the ‘specific credibility of the statement’).
Article
Deception research regarding insurance claims is rare but relevant given the financial loss in terms of fraud. In Study 1, a field study in a large multinational insurance fraud detection company, truth telling mock claimants (N = 19) and lying mock claimants (N = 21) were interviewed by insurance company telephone operators. These operators classified correctly only 50% of these truthful and lying claimants, but their task was particularly challenging: Claimants said little, and truthful and deceptive statements did not differ in quality (measured with Criteria-Based Content Analysis [CBCA]) or plausibility. In Study 2, a laboratory experiment, participants in the experimental condition (N = 43) were exposed to an audiotaped truthful and detailed account of an event that was unrelated to insurance claims (a day at the motor races). The number of words, quality of the statement (measured with CBCA), and plausibility of the participants' accounts were compared with participants who were not given a model statement (N = 40). The participants who had listened to the model statement provided longer statements than control participants, truth tellers obtained higher CBCA scores than liars, and only in the model statement condition did truth tellers sound more plausible than liars. Providing participants with a model statement is thus an innovative and successful tool to elicit cues to deception. Providing such a model has the potential to enhance performance in insurance call interviews, and, as we argue, in many other interview settings.
Article
We examined the potential of undercover interviewing and collective interviewing in eliciting cues to deceit in intelligence interviews. Twenty-four pairs of truth tellers and 23 pairs of liars undertook a mission in which they were interviewed covertly in a park by an undercover interviewer, and then had a later formal, forensic-style interview with a second interviewer. Truth tellers and liars went to the park for different reasons and carried out somewhat different activities. Liars were instructed that if they were asked about their activities to conceal their true reason for visiting the park and to pretend to be there for the same reason as truth tellers. Based on theoretical principles about short-term gains, lack of cognitive flexibility, tendency to avoid reporting potential incriminating information, memory deficits, lack of imagination, and transaction information search, we expected liars to be less forthcoming about their meeting with the undercover interviewer and to show less overlap in their answers in the undercover and formal interviews. We also expected them to report fewer unexpected events, and to consult each other less during the formal interview. The hypotheses were supported and the implications for intelligence interviewing are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Deception researchers have suggested that when truth tellers and liars carry out the same activities, verbal differences in reporting such activities are unlikely to occur. We argue that liars will report these activities in less detail than truth tellers, due to a tendency to be less forthcoming with information relating to their deception. In the present experiment, truth tellers and liars carried out the same activities for benevolent (truth tellers) or malevolent (liars) reasons, and were asked to report these activities in a free recall phase and in a cued recall phase. In the cued recall phase half of the participants were asked to recall the information with their eyes closed. Liars’ accounts were less detailed than truth tellers’ accounts in both phases of the interview. Eye closure resulted in the reporting of more detail by truth tellers and liars. The theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
This study explores the form and function of deception in close relationships. Free response descriptions of situations involving the deception of a relational partner were obtained from 357 university students and other adults. Descriptions were coded for type of deceptive communication, antecedent condition, type of information and reasons given for being deceptive. Results indicated that falsification was the most frequently reported type of deceptive communication and avoiding hurt to partner was the most frequently reported specific reason for deception. Comparisons across types of relationship revealed that (1) married respondents reported proportionately more instances of omission and fewer instances of explicit falsification relative to other relationship types, (2) dating respondents reported proportionately more reasons focused on protecting their resources and avoiding stress/abuse from partner, (3) dating respondents reported proportionately more reasons focused on avoiding relational trauma/termination, and (4) married respondents reported proportionately more reasons focused on avoiding threats to partner's face/self-esteem. For the total sample, high ratings of relational satisfaction, closeness and perceived partner commitment were associated with the general category of partnerfocused reasons.
Article
Purpose. Most past research on detecting deception has relied on the assumption that liars often fabricate a story to account for their whereabouts, whereas truth tellers simply recall an autobiographical memory. However, little research has examined whether liars, when free to choose the topic of their own reports, will actually choose to fabricate information rather than use a different strategy for constructing their lies. We describe two studies that evaluated liars’ strategies for selecting the content of their lies when given the freedom to choose whatever content they desired. Method. In Studies 1 (N= 35) and 2 (N= 22) participants (a) described a truthful story in order to identify a salient event, then (b) lied about the event, and finally (c) described their strategies for choosing the content of the reported lies. Results. Liars overwhelmingly chose to report a previously experienced event for the time period they were to be deceptive about (67% and 86% in Studies 1 and 2, respectively). The majority of discrete details reported were experienced, occurred relatively frequently, occurred relatively recently, and were typical or routine. Conclusions. These findings have significant implications for the development of cognitive-based interventions for detecting deception. In particular, some methods of deception that rely on content analysis may be ineffective if liars choose to report previous experiences rather than outright fabrications.
Article
Discusses the role of expert psychological witnesses in assessing the truthfulness of testimony by children or juveniles in Germany regarding sexual abuse. An overview of the general diagnostic procedure in these cases is presented, focusing on credibility assessment; and statement analysis, a major diagnostic tool in determining credibility, is described. The empirical basis and scientific status of statement analysis are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Major investigative interviewing protocols such as the Cognitive Interview recommend that investigators build rapport with cooperative adult witnesses at the beginning of a police interview. Although research substantiates the benefits of rapport-building on the accuracy of child witness reports, few studies have examined whether similar benefits apply to adult witnesses. The present study investigated whether verbal rapport-building techniques increase adult witness report accuracy and decrease their susceptibility to post-event misinformation. One-hundred eleven college adults viewed a videotaped mock-crime, received post-event misinformation (or correct information) about the crime, and were subsequently interviewed by a research assistant who built rapport (or did not build rapport) before recalling the mock-crime. Results indicated that rapport-building increased the quality of witness recall by decreasing the percentage of inaccurate and misinformation reported, particularly in response to open-ended questions. We discuss implications and recommendations for law enforcement. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Deception detection: Current challenges and new approaches
  • P. A. Granhag
  • M. Hartwig
Detecting concealed information and deception: Verbal, behavioral, and biological methods
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A cognitive approach to lie detection: A meta‐analysis
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Credibility assessment
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