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Mimicry and investigative interviewing: Using deliberate mimicry to elicit information and cues to deceit

Journal article
Authors D J Shaw
A Vrij
Sharon Leal
S Mann
J Hillman
Pär-Anders Granhag
R Fisher
Published in Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Volume 12
Issue 3
Pages 217-230
ISSN 1544-4759
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 217-230
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1002/jip.1438
Keywords deception detection, investigative interviewing
Subject categories Psychology

Abstract

We examined the effect of deliberate mimicry on eliciting (accurate) information and cues to deceit. Mimicry is considered to facilitate cooperation and compliance in truth tellers, whereas liars are constrained to provide detail. We therefore expected truth tellers to be more detailed than liars, particularly after being mimicked. A total of 165 participants told the truth or lied about a meeting they attended. During the interview, an interviewer mimicked half of the participants. Truth tellers were more detailed than liars, but only in the ‘mimicry present’ condition. Truth tellers also gave more accurate units of information than liars, and the difference was most pronounced in the ‘mimicry present’ condition. Mimicry as a tool for eliciting information and cues to deceit fits well with the emerging ‘interviewing to detect deception’ literature, particularly in the ‘encouraging interviewees to say more’ approach.

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