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Eliciting Cues to False Intent: A New Application of Strategic Interviewing.

Conference paper
Authors Franziska Clemens
Pär-Anders Granhag
Leif Strömwall
Published in 8th Meeting of the Nordic Network for Research on Psychology and Law (NNPL), 16-17/9-2011, Oslo (Norway)
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Keywords True intent, false intent, strategic use of evidence, cues to deception, inconsistency, suspects
Subject categories Psychology


The present study examined how to elicit cues to deception when a suspect is asked both about his/her intentions and his/her corresponding past planning, and when the investigator holds evidence on the suspect’s planning activities. In a new experimental set-up accommodating the main characteristics of intent, participants (N = 120) either planned a criminal or a non-criminal act. They were intercepted before completing the planned act. Each participant was interviewed in accordance with one of three interview techniques: Early Evidence disclosure or one of two versions of the Strategic Use of Evidence (SUE) technique. All the interviews were transcribed and scored for consistency. As predicted, the liars were perceived as having a higher degree of inconsistency for two of the three relevant comparisons (Statement on Planning–Evidence on Planning; Statement on Intent–Evidence on Planning). Furthermore, using the evidence strategically resulted in differences between liars and truth tellers being magnified, as predicted. This study advances previous findings in showing that by interviewing strategically with respect to the evidence, it is possible to elicit reliable cues to deception when a suspect is asked about intentions and corresponding planning activities.

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