Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) cannot distinguish between truthful and fabricated accounts of a negative event

Glynis Bogaard, Ewout H. Meijer, Aldert Vrij, Harald Merckelbach

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The Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) is a verbal veracity assessment method that is currently used worldwide by investigative authorities. Yet, research investigating the accuracy of SCAN is scarce. The present study tested whether SCAN was able to accurately discriminate between true and fabricated statements. To this end, 117 participants were asked to write down one true and one fabricated statement about a recent negative event that happened in their lives. All statements were analyzed using 11 criteria derived from SCAN. Results indicated that SCAN was not able to correctly classify true and fabricated statements. Lacking empirical support, the application of SCAN in its current form should be discouraged.
Original languageEnglish
Article number243
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2016


  • deception detection
  • scan
  • Scientific Content Analysis
  • Lie Detection
  • verbal cues
  • verbal credibility assessment

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