The effect of individual differences in episodic future thought on credibility in occupation interviews

Felicity O'Connell, Delyth Stone, Zarah Vernham, Paul Taylor, Lara Warmelink

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In this paper, we describe three experiments that explored whether individual differences in episodic future thought (EFT) ability affects credibility when participants told the truth and lied about their occupation. Credibility was measured by the number of perceptual details, statement length, level of detail and plausibility in verbal accounts and sketches (Experiment 1) and by other participants' veracity judgments of the verbal accounts (Experiment 2) and sketches (Experiment 3). In Experiment 1, participants with higher EFT ability generated more detailed verbal accounts and more plausible sketches than those with lower EFT ability. In Experiments 2 and 3, EFT ability did not predict veracity judgements of the verbal accounts or sketches derived from Experiment 1. The findings across all experiments suggest that EFT ability affects the ability to generate credible accounts however, EFT ability does not affect credibility judgements.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4172
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2024


  • credibility
  • deception
  • episodic future thought
  • lying

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