Applying the Verifiability Approach to insurance claims settings: exploring the effect of the information protocol

Adam C. Harvey, Aldert Vrij, Galit Nahari, Katharina Ludwig

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Abstract

Purpose
Lie detection in insurance claim settings is difficult as liars can easily incorporate deceptive statements within descriptions of otherwise truthful events. We examined whether the Verifiability Approach (VA) could be used effectively in insurance settings. According to the VA, liars avoid disclosing details that they think can be easily checked, whereas truth tellers are forthcoming with verifiable details.

Method
The study experimentally manipulated notifying claimants about the interviewer's intention to check their statements for verifiable details (the ‘Information Protocol’). It was hypothesized that such an instruction would (1) encourage truth tellers to provide more verifiable details than liars and to report identifiable witnesses who had witnessed the event within their statements, and (2) would enhance the diagnostic accuracy of the VA. Participants reported 40 genuine and 40 fabricated insurance claim statements, in which half the liars and truth tellers were notified about the interviewer's intention to check their statements for verifiable details.

Results
Both hypotheses were supported. In terms of accuracy, notifying claimants about the interviewer's intention to check their statements for verifiable details increased accuracy rates from around chance level to around 80%.

Conclusion
The VA, including the information protocol, can be used in insurance settings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-59
JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
Volume22
Issue number1
Early online date5 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Verifiability Approach
  • deception detection
  • insurance
  • verbal cues

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