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Partners under Pressure: Examining the Consistency of True and False Alibi Statements

Journal article
Authors Marthe Lefsaker Sakrisvold
Pär-Anders Granhag
Erik Mac Giolla
Published in Behavioral Sciences & the Law
Volume 35
Issue 1
Pages 75-90
ISSN 0735-3936
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 75-90
Language en
Keywords police officers, law-enforcement, memory, psychology, beliefs, recall, sounds, Psychology
Subject categories Psychology


How to discriminate between honest and deceptive alibi statements holds great legal importance. We examined this issue from the perspective of group deception. Our goals were to (a) compare the consistency between the statements of guilty and innocent suspects and those of their respective alibi witnesses, and (b) to examine the moderating role of object-salience on the level of consistency between their statements. Pairs of truth-tellers provided honest testimonies. Pairs of liars were divided into perpetrators and alibi witnesses. Statements of lying pairs were considerably more consistent than the statements of truth-telling pairs. In addition, both truth-tellers and liars showed lower levels of within-group consistency when recalling less salient details about an event. However, truth-tellers' consistency levels were considerably more affected by salience than were liars' consistency levels. These findings contribute to deception theory and have important implications for the real-life task of distinguishing between true and false alibi statements.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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