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Using Sketch Drawing to Induce Inconsistency in Liars

NCJ Number
Legal and Criminological Psychology Volume: 16 Issue: 2 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 253-265
Drew Leins; Ronald P. Fisher; Aldert Vrij; Sharon Leal; Samantha Mann
Date Published
September 2011
13 pages
Consistency as a factor in detecting deception was tested in two experiments that used sketch drawing and verbal reports in repeated interviews.
In one of two experiments, liars were rated as less consistent in their accounts of events than truth-tellers. Up to 80 percent of truth-tellers and 70 percent of liars were correctly classified. In the second experiment, liars were less consistent than truth-tellers on consistency proportions. Up to 100 percent of truth-tellers and 77 percent of liars could be correctly classified. The study concludes that using sketches to induce inconsistency may be a reliable and efficient way to help investigators detect deception. It can be expected that in a series of interviews liars will attempt to repeat details that they reported during the initial interview, believing that inconsistencies are likely to heighten suspicion in investigators. In both experiments, however, liars reported events verbally and then pictorially (or vice versa); making it more difficult for them to repeat rehearsed verbal statements. In these experiments, they were forced to remember details and manipulate them in different ways, which tended to disrupt rehearsed verbal statements. In the first experiment, 80 undergraduate students reported truthfully or deceptively about an alleged lunch; they sketched the layout of the restaurant and then answered spatial questions about objects in the restaurant. Ratings were given for the consistency between sketches and verbal reports. In the second experiment, 34 undergraduate students reported truthfully or deceptively about completing a series of unrelated tasks; they answered spatial questions about objects in a room and then sketched the layout of the room. Proportions were calculated for the consistency between verbal reports and sketches. 18 references