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Is anyone there? Drawings as a tool to detect deceit in occupation interviews

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In the present experiment 17 truth tellers and 16 liars were asked to verbally describe and sketch their workplace. We measured (i) the amount of detail included in the verbal description/sketch; (ii) the plausibility of the verbal description/sketch; (iii) the number of people verbally described/sketched; and (iv) the level of detail in which these people were verbally described/sketched. Differences between truth tellers and liars emerged on all four variables in the drawings whereas only one difference (the number of people described) emerged in the verbal accounts. Two possible explanations for the efficiency of drawings as a veracity assessment tool in this experiment are discussed. First, the request to sketch came as a surprise to participants and, second, sketching creates a unique problem for liars: more so than a verbal request, the request to sketch forces an interviewee to convey spatial information.
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Keywords: deception; deception detection; decision making; detection of deception; interview procedures

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychology,University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK 2: Department of Psychology,Florida International University, North Miami, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2012

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