Sketching while narrating as a tool to detect deceit

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In none of the deception studies that used drawings to date, was the effect of sketching on both speech content and drawing content examined, making it unclear what the full potential is of the use of drawings as a lie detection tool. A total of 122 truth tellers and liars took part in the study who did or did not sketch while narrating their allegedly experienced event. We formulated hypotheses about the total amount of information and number of complications reported and about various features of the drawings. Participants in the Sketch‐present condition provided more information than participants in the Sketch‐absent condition, and truth tellers reported more details than liars, but only in the Sketch‐present condition. In contrast to previous research, no Veracity differences occurred regarding the content of the drawings, perhaps because sketching was introduced as a tool that facilitated verbal recall and not as a stand‐alone tool.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date24 Feb 2020
Publication statusEarly online - 24 Feb 2020


  • deception
  • drawings
  • information-gathering
  • RCUK
  • ESRC
  • ES/N009614/1


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