Facilitating memory-based lie detection in immediate and delayed interviewing: the role of mnemonics

Aleksandras Izotovas, Aldert Vrij, Lorraine Hope, Samantha Mann, Pär Anders Granhag, Leif A. Strömwall

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We experimentally investigated how different mnemonic techniques employed in an interview conducted immediately after an event affected truth tellers' and liars' responses when they were interviewed again after a 2‐week delay. We also compared how verbal accounts changed over time within truth tellers and liars, and how consistent both groups were. Participants (n = 143) were shown a mock intelligence operation video and instructed either to tell the truth or lie about its contents in two interviews, one of which was immediately after watching the video and the other after a 2‐week delay. In the immediate interview, they were asked to provide a free recall and then asked to provide further information via one of three mnemonics: context reinstatement, sketch, or event‐line. In the delayed interview, they were asked to provide only a free recall. Truth tellers reported more visual, spatial, temporal, and action details than did liars both immediately and after a delay. Truth tellers experienced more of a decline in reporting details after a delay than did liars, and this decline was affected by the mnemonic used. Truth tellers thus showed, more than liars, patterns of reporting indicative of genuine memory decay. Liars produced patterns of a “stability bias” instead. Truth tellers and liars were equally consistent between their immediate and delayed statements.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date16 Jul 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 16 Jul 2018


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