An examination of the Self‐Administered Interview (SAI ) as a verbal veracity assessment tool

Charlotte A. Hudson, Aldert Vrij, Lucy Akehurst, Lorraine Hope

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The Self‐Administered Interview (SAI) is a written eyewitness recall tool that elicits more information from cooperative witnesses than written free recall (WFR) formats. To date, SAI research has examined the accounts of cooperative people providing honest reports. In the current experiment, truthful and fabricating participants (N = 128) either completed a WFR or a SAI after witnessing a crime (initial account). After a one‐week delay, participants were interviewed verbally (subsequent interview). Truth tellers reported significantly more detail than liars in both the initial account and subsequent interview, and participants who completed the SAI reported more detail than those completing the WFR. Truth tellers repeated and omitted more information in the subsequent interview than liars, however, there was no significant difference in the number of reminiscent details reported. Although the SAI is effective in eliciting information as an initial eyewitness reporting tool, no benefits for the detection of deception were demonstrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1091
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date25 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


  • deception
  • self-administered interview
  • consistency
  • witness


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