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Police Officers’ Perceptions of Statement Inconsistency

Journal article
Authors H. Deeb
A. Vrij
L. Hope
S. Mann
Pär-Anders Granhag
Leif Strömwall
Published in Criminal justice and behavior
Volume 45
Issue 5
Pages 644-665
ISSN 0093-8548
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 644-665
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1177/00938548187...
Keywords inconsistency, legal decision making, police officers, survey
Subject categories Law and Society, Applied Psychology

Abstract

We examined police officers’ (N = 71) perceptions of statement inconsistency types (within-statement, between-statement, statement-evidence, and within-group inconsistencies). Approximately half of the officers reported looking for statement inconsistency to detect deception. Officers generally associated contradictions and omissions with deception, and repetitions and reminiscences with truthfulness, but they were most likely to use contradictions. Officers reported using statement-evidence inconsistency more than any other inconsistency type, and they believed it was the easiest type to assess. Younger officers tended to believe that liars attempt to eliminate within-statement inconsistency unless they are strategically presented with incriminating evidence. Moreover, the majority of officers indicated that they have used drawings to assess inconsistencies with suspects’ verbal statements. Finally, suspects’ criminal history, intelligence, and personality were believed to influence statement (in)consistency. These findings are discussed in light of the literature on statement inconsistency, and recommendations regarding the applied use of statement inconsistency types are offered.

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