Jaume Masip
Department of Social Psychology and Anthropology

Inconsistencies between repeated interviews can reveal deception: Interviewing suspects strategically to detect deception from inconsistencies and evasive answers

Masip, J., Blandón-Gitlin, I., Martínez, C., Herrero, C., & Ibabe, I. (2016). Strategic interviewing to detect deception: Cues to deception across repeated interviews. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1702. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01702

Previous deception research on repeated interviews found that liars are not less consistent than truth tellers, presumably because liars use a “repeat strategy” to be consistent across interviews. The goal of this study was to design an interview procedure to overcome this strategy. Innocent participants (truth tellers) and guilty participants (liars) had to convince an interviewer that they had performed several innocent activities rather than committing a mock crime. The interview focused on the innocent activities (alibi), contained specific central and peripheral questions, and was repeated after 1 week without forewarning. Cognitive load was increased by asking participants to reply quickly. The liars’ answers in replying to both central and peripheral questions were significantly less accurate, less consistent, and more evasive than the truth tellers’ answers. Logistic regression analyses yielded classification rates ranging from around 70% (with consistency as the predictor variable), 85% (with evasive answers as the predictor variable), to over 90% (with an improved measure of consistency that incorporated evasive answers as the predictor variable, as well as with response accuracy as the predictor variable). These classification rates were higher than the interviewers’ accuracy rate (54%).




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