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A cognitive approach to lie detection: a meta-analysis

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Introduction: This article provides a meta-analysis of a new, cognitive approach to (non-)verbal lie detection. This cognitive lie detection approach consists of three techniques: (1) imposing cognitive load, (2) encouraging interviewees to say more, and (3) asking unexpected questions.

Method: A meta-analysis was carried out on studies using the cognitive approach, 14 of which directly compared the cognitive approach to a standard approach.

Results: The cognitive lie detection approach produced superior accuracy results in truth detection (67%), lie detection (67%), and total detection (truth and lie detection combined, 71%) compared to a traditional standard approach (truth detection: 57%; lie detection: 47%; total detection: 56%).

Conclusions: Practitioners may find it useful to use a cognitive lie detection approach in their daily practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jan 2017


  • A_cognitive_approach_to_lie_detection

    Rights statement: "This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Vrij, A., Fisher, R. P. and Blank, H. (2015), A cognitive approach to lie detection: A meta-analysis. Legal and Criminological Psychology, which has been published in final form at 10.1111/lcrp.12088. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 363 KB, PDF document

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