Police officers’ perceptions of statement inconsistency

Haneen Deeb, Aldert Vrij, Lorraine Hope, Samantha Mann, Pär Anders Granhag, Leif A. Strömwall

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We examined police officers’ (N = 71) perceptions of statement inconsistency types (within-statement, between-statement, statement-evidence, and within-group inconsistencies). Approximately half of the officers reported looking for statement inconsistency to detect deception. Officers generally associated contradictions and omissions with deception, and repetitions and reminiscences with truthfulness, but they were most likely to use contradictions. Officers reported using statement-evidence inconsistency more than any other inconsistency type, and they believed it was the easiest type to assess. Younger officers tended to believe that liars attempt to eliminate within-statement inconsistency unless they are strategically presented with incriminating evidence. Moreover, the majority of officers indicated that they have used drawings to assess inconsistencies with suspects’ verbal statements. Finally, suspects’ criminal history, intelligence, and personality were believed to influence statement (in)consistency. These findings are discussed in light of the literature on statement inconsistency, and recommendations regarding the applied use of statement inconsistency types are offered.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Early online date5 Mar 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 5 Mar 2018


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