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Discerning truth from deception: The sincere witness profile

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Author(s): Luca Bensi | Elisa Gambetti | Rafaella Nori | Fiorella Giusberti

Journal: European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context
ISSN 1889-1861

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: Credibility | Criteria-based content analysis (CBCA) | Deception | Forensic Psychology | Truth | Verbal cues.

ABSTRACT
During the last twenty years, we have assisted to a growing interest in the detection of verbal cues under deception. In this context, we focused our attention on the truth vs. deception topic in adults. In particular, we were interested in discrepant findings concerning some verbal indicators. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether different experimental designs may yield different results regarding the presence or absence of CBCA criteria. Forty participants were shown a video of a robbery and were asked to give a truthful and a deceitful statement of the criminal event. The participants’ performances were recorded in order to analyze content of the reports. Results showed more changes in verbal behaviour under within-subjects design compared to between-subjects one, though the presence/absence of some criteria was the same across the two statistical procedures. The different results yielded by between- and within-subjects analyses can provide some hints as regards the discrepancy in deception literature on verbal cues. Implications for applied settings are discussed.
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