Using the Reverse Order Technique with non-native speakers or through an interpreter

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We examined whether the reverse order technique can be implemented when people speak through an interpreter. A total of 40 Chinese, 40 Korean and 30 Hispanic participants were interviewed in English or in their own native language through an interpreter. Interviewees were asked to tell the truth or lie about a secret meeting they viewed. They were asked to recall what they saw in chronological order and then in reverse order. The reverse order technique revealed two cues to deceit (detail and commissions) when an interpreter was present, whereas no cues to deceit emerged when interviewees spoke in English. This suggests that the reverse order technique can be used with an interpreter but possibly not with non-native speakers. Perhaps the combined task of speaking in a non-native language and reporting in reverse order is mentally taxing for liars and truth tellers, thus making differences between them unlikely to emerge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-249
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date19 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


  • reverse order technique
  • non-native speakers
  • interpreters
  • detecting deception


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