The reliability of lie detection performance

Amy May Leach, R. C.L. Lindsay, Rachel Koehler, Jennifer L. Beaudry, Nicholas C. Bala, Kang Lee, Victoria Talwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined whether individuals' ability to detect deception remained stable over time. In two sessions, held one week apart, university students viewed video clips of individuals and attempted to differentiate between the lie-tellers and truth-tellers. Overall, participants had difficulty detecting all types of deception. When viewing children answering yes-no questions about a transgression (Experiments 1 and 5), participants' performance was highly reliable. However, rating adults who provided truthful or fabricated accounts did not produce a significant alternate forms correlation (Experiment 2). This lack of reliability was not due to the types of deceivers (i.e., children versus adults) or interviews (i.e., closed-ended questions versus extended accounts) (Experiment 3). Finally, the type of deceptive scenario (naturalistic vs. experimentally-manipulated) could not account for differences in reliability (Experiment 4). Theoretical and legal implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-109
Number of pages14
JournalLaw and Human Behavior
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Deception
  • Individual differences
  • Lie detection
  • Reliability

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