The effect of the presence and seating position of an interpreter on eliciting information and cues to deceit

Sarah Ewens, Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Samantha Mann, Eunkyung Jo, Kate Houston

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Abstract

The present experiment examined how the seating position of an interpreter during investigative interviews affects information elicitation and cues to deceit. A total of 60 native English speakers were interviewed in English and 200 non-native English speakers were interviewed in English (a non-native language) or through an interpreter who either sat next to the interviewer, behind the interviewee or interpreted via the telephone. Interviewees either lied or told the truth about a mock security meeting they watched. Interviewees who spoke in their native language provided more detail than interviewees who spoke in their native language through an interpreter or in a non-native language (English) without an interpreter. The latter groups did not differ. Additionally, the amount of detail differentiated truth tellers from liars in all conditions and interviewees found the presence of an interpreter to be a largely positive experience. The interpreter’s seating position had no effect on the findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-200
JournalPsychology, Crime & Law
Volume23
Issue number2
Early online date26 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

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