Are you for real? Exploring language use and unexpected process questions within the detection of identity deception

Louise Jupe, Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Galit Nahari

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Abstract

The current study was to test whether Reality Monitoring and language use could distinguish identity liars from truth tellers when answering outcome questions and unexpected process questions. Truth tellers (n = 30) and liars (n = 30) discussed their identity in a recruitment interview. No differences emerged between truth tellers and liars in the details they provided. In terms of language use, liars used more positive language than truth tellers, whilst truth tellers used more cognitive process words than liars. However, neither were more pronounced when asking process questions. Overall, process questions elicited more cognitive process and cause words than outcome questions. Therefore, process questions may be able to contribute to the cognitive load approach. The findings suggest that Reality Monitoring may not be diagnostic when applied to identity deception. We discuss the
language use differences in relation to Impression Management theory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)622-634
Number of pages13
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume32
Issue number5
Early online date8 Aug 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2018

Keywords

  • deception
  • detection
  • identity deception
  • linguistic analysis
  • LIWC
  • reality monitoring

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