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Language of Deceit: An Investigation of the Verbal Clues to Deception in the Interrogation Context

NCJ Number
Law and Human Behavior Volume: 20 Issue: 4 Dated: (August 1996) Pages: 443-458
S Porter; J C Yuille
Date Published
16 pages
This study tested the hypothesis that reliable verbal indicators of deception exist in the interrogation context.
The specific goal of the study was to test concurrently the clues identified in Porter and Yuille's (1995) review in a realistic crime simulation study. The clues examined are subsumed under the following categories: Statement Validity Analysis, Reality Monitoring, Sapir's Training Program, or Lexical Diversity. A total of 60 participants were recruited for a study that addressed "security effectiveness" and involved the participants in a simulated theft they were told was for the purpose of testing the effectiveness of a new security guard. The participants then provided either a truthful alibi, a partially deceptive account, a completely false alibi, or a truthful confession regarding the theft to "an interrogator hired for the purpose of investigating thefts" with a monetary incentive for convincing the interrogator of their truthfulness. Only three out of the 18 (16.7 percent) clues tested significantly differentiated the truthful and deceptive accounts. All three clues were derived from the Statement Validity Analysis technique (amount of detail reported, coherence, and admissions of lack of memory). Implications are discussed for credibility assessment in forensic interrogations. 59 references


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