Lie detection in sex crime investigations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The introduction of Criteria-Based Content Analysis (CBCA), a verbal veracity assessment tool to assess (child) sexual abuse cases, changed the focus from nonverbal lie detection to verbal lie detection. However, CBCA has shortcomings. We first introduce CBCA together with four shortcomings. We then discuss researchers’ efforts to resolve these shortcomings. In summary, the four shortcomings and resolutions are as follows: First, CBCA-coding is complicated, but a less complicated method, called Reality Monitoring, is available. Second, all CBCA criteria are cues to truthfulness (cues more frequently reported by truth tellers than by lie tellers) and researchers are currently examining cues to deceit. Third, CBCA employs a passive interview protocol but active interview tools that exploit differences between truth tellers and lie tellers in their cognitive processing and their strategies to appear sincere have been introduced. Fourth, CBCA does not have cut-off scores for making truth/lie decisions and researchers are currently developing within-subjects measures to resolve this problem.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCriminal Investigations of Sexual Offenses
Subtitle of host publicationTechniques and Challenges
EditorsNadine Deslauriers-Varin, Craig Bennell
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9783030799687
ISBN (Print)9783030799670
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


  • criteria-based content analysis
  • cognitive credibility assessment
  • strategic use of evidence
  • verifiability approach
  • within-subjects lie detection measures


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