In the current study we examined the effect of having the opportunity to plan an alibi in advance on the suitability of the verifiability approach in two crime scenarios that differed in their opportunity to carry out innocent activities at the time of the crime. One hundred and two participants imagined being involved in stealing money either from a café at a time when it was open (allows innocent activities) or from a bank at a time when it was closed (does not allow innocent activities).
We asked participants about their strategies and difficulties in preparing a verifiable alibi in advance, and to write down their prepared alibis. The participants in both groups found this task difficult and did not differ in the difficulties they experienced, however they differed in their strategies (plans to include true witnesses) and actual success in the task.
Participants in the Café scenario provided 30% more verifiable details than the participants in the Bank scenario. Strategies and difficulties mentioned by the participants are presented in the paper, and the implications of the study’s results on the application of the verifiability approach are discussed.
(From the journal abstract)
Nahari, Galit, and Aldert Vrij. 2015. ‘Can Someone Fabricate Verifiable Details When Planning in Advance? It all Depends on the Crime Scenario’. Psychology, Crime & Law 21 (10): 987–99. https://researchportal.port.ac.uk/portal/files/3048505/Can_someone_fabricate_verifiable_details.pdf.