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Using unexpected questions to elicit information and cues to deceit in interpreter-based interviews

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We examined whether speech-related differences between truth tellers and liars are more profound when answering unexpected questions than when answering expected questions. We also examined whether the presence of an interpreter affected these results. In the experiment, 204 participants from the United States (Hispanic participants only), Russia, and the Republic of Korea were interviewed in their native language by a native-speaking interviewer or by a British interviewer through an interpreter. Truth tellers discussed a trip that they had made during the last 12 months; liars fabricated a story about such a trip. The key dependent variables were the amount of information provided and the proportion of all statements that were complications. The proportion of complications distinguished truth tellers from liars better when answering unexpected than expected questions, but only in interpreter-absent interviews. The number of details provided did not differ between truth tellers and liars or between interpreter-absent and interpreter-present interviews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-104
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date23 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2018


  • Using unexpected questions to elicit information

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Vrij A, Leal S, Mann S, et al. Using unexpected questions to elicit information and cues to deceit in interpreter-based interviews. Appl Cognit Psychol. 2018;32:94–104., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 223 KB, PDF document

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