A re-analysis that supports our main results: a reply to Levine et al.

Aldert Vrij, Hartmut Blank, Ronald P. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

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Levine et al. (2017) criticized our meta-analysis, but their conclusion was the same as ours: The cognitive approach to lie detection results in a modest improvement. We address and dismiss Levine et al.'s (2017) three criticisms. Regarding the ‘confound’, in our meta-analysis we averaged the results of two cells on statistical grounds, which does not constitute a confound in statistical terms. Regarding ‘aberrant controls’, that depends entirely on the benchmarks selected and type of statistical test and meta-analysis used. Regarding ‘unreliable data’, the claim that there is a positive relationship between ‘unreliable’ data and total accuracy in the cognitive lie detection conditions is not even supported by their own data (p = .16). We conclude with a request to Levine et al. to focus on our shared aim: to develop interview protocols that enable lie detection.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
Early online date4 Nov 2017
Publication statusEarly online - 4 Nov 2017


  • cognitive lie detection
  • meta-analysis
  • interviewing to detect deception


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