12,000

We have over 12,000 students, from over 100 countries, within one of the safest campuses in the UK

93%

93% of Lancaster students go into work or further study within six months of graduating

Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > The Effects of Unexpected Questions on Detectin...
View graph of relations

« Back

The Effects of Unexpected Questions on Detecting Familiar and Unfamiliar Lies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2013
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Journal number1
Volume20
Number of pages7
Pages29-35
Early online date24/10/11
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Previous research suggests that lie detection can be improved by asking the interviewee unexpected questions. The present experiment investigates the effect of two types of unexpected questions: background questions and detail questions, on detecting lies about topics with which the interviewee is (a) familiar or (b) unfamiliar. In this experiment, 66 participants read interviews in which interviewees answered background or detail questions, either truthfully or deceptively. Those who answered deceptively could be lying about a topic they were familiar with or about a topic they were unfamiliar with. The participants were asked to judge whether the interviewees were lying. The results revealed that background questions distinguished truths from both types of lies, while the detail questions distinguished truths from unfamiliar lies, but not from familiar lies. The implications of these findings are discussed.