Extending the Verifiability Approach Framework: The Effect of Initial Questioning

The verifiability approach (VA) is a lie‐detection tool that examines reported checkable details. Across two studies, we attempt to exploit liar’s preferred strategy of repeating information by examining the effect of questioning adult interviewees before the VA. In Study 1, truth tellers (n = 34) and liars (n = 33) were randomly assigned to either an initial open or closed questioning condition. After initial questioning, participants were interviewed using the VA. In Study 2, truth tellers (n = 48) and liars (n = 48) were interviewed twice, with half of each veracity group randomly assigned to either the Information Protocol (an instruction describing the importance of reporting verifiable details) or control condition. Only truth tellers revised their initial statement to include verifiable detail. This pattern was most pronounced when initial questioning was open (Study 1) and when the information protocol was employed (Study 2). Thus, liar’s preferred strategy of maintaining consistency between statements appears exploitable using the VA.

(From the journal abstract)


Adam Charles Harvey, Aldert Vrij, George Sarikas, Sharon Leal, Louise Jupe, and Galit Nahari. 2018. ‘Extending the Verifiability Approach Framework: The Effect of Initial Questioning’. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 32 (6): 787–804. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3465.