Sketching as a technique to eliciting information and cues to deceit in interpreter-based interviews

Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Ronald P. Fisher, Sam Mann, Gary Dalton, Eunkyung Jo, Alla Shaboltas, Maria Khaleeva, Juliana Granskaya, Kate Houston

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We tested the effect of sketching while providing a narrative on eliciting information, eliciting cues to deceit and lie detection in interpreter-absent and interpreter-present interviews. A total of 204 participants from the USA (Hispanic participants only), Russia, and the Republic of Korea were interviewed in their native language by native interviewers or by a British interviewer through an interpreter. Truth tellers discussed a trip they had made; liars fabricated a story about such a trip. Half of the participants were instructed to sketch while narrating, the other half received no instruction. Sketching resulted in more details provided. It also elicited cues to deceit: Complications and new details differentiated truth tellers from liars in the Sketching-present condition only. Liars and truth tellers were more correctly classified in the Sketching-present than in the Sketching-absent condition. More complications and more common knowledge details were reported without than with an interpreter.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-313
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number2
Early online date24 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • interpreter
  • drawing
  • non-native speakers
  • information gathering
  • deception


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