Insurance based lie detection: enhancing the verifiability approach with a model statement component

Adam C. Harvey, Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Marcus Lafferty, Galit Nahari

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Purpose - The Verifiability Approach (VA) is verbal lie detection tool that has shown promise when applied to insurance claims settings. This study examined the effectiveness of incorporating a Model Statement comprised of checkable information to the VA protocol for enhancing the verbal differences between liars and truth tellers.

Method - The study experimentally manipulated supplementing (or withholding) the VA with a Model Statement. It was hypothesised that such a manipulation would (i) encourage truth tellers to provide more verifiable details than liars and (ii) encourage liars to report more unverifiable details than truth tellers (compared to the no model statement control). As a result, it was hypothesized that (iii) the model statement would improve classificatory accuracy of the VA. Participants reported 40 genuine and 40 fabricated insurance claim statements, in which half the liars and truth tellers where provided with a model statement as part of the VA procedure, and half where provide no model statement.

Results - All three hypotheses were supported. In terms of accuracy, the model statement increased classificatory rates by the VA considerably from 65.0% to 90.0%.

Conclusion - Providing interviewee’s with a model statement prime consisting of checkable detail appears to be a useful refinement to the VA procedure.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Psychologica
Early online date13 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • insurance interviewing
  • lie detection
  • eliciting cues


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