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Front Psychol. 2015 Aug 31;6:1298. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01298. eCollection 2015.

A reverse order interview does not aid deception detection regarding intentions.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA, USA ; Department of Psychology, California State University Fullerton Fullerton, CA, USA ; Department of Psychology, Northridge CA, USA.
2
Department of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA, USA.
3
Department of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University Claremont, CA, USA ; Department of Student Affairs Information Systems, University of California Riverside Riverside, CA, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, California State University Fullerton Fullerton, CA, USA.

Abstract

Promising recent research suggests that more cognitively demanding interviews improve deception detection accuracy. Would these cognitively demanding techniques work in the same way when discriminating between true and false future intentions? In Experiment 1 participants planned to complete a task, but instead were intercepted and interviewed about their intentions. Participants lied or told the truth, and were subjected to high (reverse order) or low (sequential order) cognitive load interviews. Third-party observers watched these interviews and indicated whether they thought the person was lying or telling the truth. Subjecting participants to a reverse compared to sequential interview increased the misidentification rate and the appearance of cognitive load in truth tellers. People lying about false intentions were not better identified. In Experiment 2, a second set of third-party observers rated behavioral cues. Consistent with Experiment 1, truth tellers, but not liars, exhibited more behaviors associated with lying and fewer behaviors associated with truth telling in the reverse than sequential interview. Together these results suggest that certain cognitively demanding interviews may be less useful when interviewing to detect false intentions. Explaining a true intention while under higher cognitive demand places truth tellers at risk of being misclassified. There may be such a thing as too much cognitive load induced by certain techniques.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive Load; Future thinking; deception detection; episodic future thought; investigative interviewing

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