“Tell me about your trip”: Introducing the Enhanced Ghostwriter Lie Detection Tool

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Asking interviewees to imagine talking to a ghostwriter, results in more information and veracity cues than an instruction to be detailed (Leal et al., 2019). We examined reasons why the ghostwriter instruction worked: The ghostwriter determines (i) what to report / omit and (ii) in which order to report the provided information. Taking away these decisions from the interviewee creates a more lenient output criterion what to report. Participants discussed a trip they had made (truth tellers) or pretended to have made (lie tellers). Interviews took place under three conditions: Control condition, Ghostwriter condition where participants were asked to imagine talking to a ghostwriter and Enhanced Ghostwriter condition where participants were also told what the benefits are of talking to a ghostwriter. The Enhanced Ghostwriter condition resulted in more information than the control condition. Most veracity cues emerged in the Enhanced Ghostwriter condition and fewest cues in the control condition.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 9 Apr 2024


  • Deception
  • Lie detection
  • Ghostwriter method
  • Telling it all
  • Keeping it simple
  • UKRI
  • ESRC
  • ES/N009614/1

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