Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Using the Reality Interview improves the accuracy of the Criteria‐Based Content Analysis and Reality Monitoring

Summary Active interviewing approaches can exploit the verbal differences between truthtellers and liars, thus improving detecting deception. One such method is the Reality Interview (RI) aimed to facilitate recall from truthtellers, while increasing the difficulty for liars. This study investigated whether the RI could improve the diagnostic accuracy of the Reality Monitoring and the Criteria‐Based Content Analysis. Liars and truthtellers were either asked to freely recall an event or interviewed with the RI. As hypothesized, the RI improved the discriminability of Reality Monitoring and Criteria‐Based Content Analysis over Free Recall. Honest responses were longer, and the RI increased the word count difference between honest and false statements. However, after correcting for word count, results were no longer significant, showing its importance for deception detection. Nonetheless, the RI increased verbal differences between truthtellers and liars, demonstrating that using the RI with verbal credibility assessment tools is a powerful combination for investigative interviewing.

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