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Structural behavioural analysis as a basis for discriminating between genuine and simulated rape allegations

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>01/2006
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number1
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)21-34
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper explores the potential utility of structural behavioural analysis as a basis for discriminating between genuine and simulated accounts of rape. Structural analysis examines the coherence of the combination of behaviours in the account based against the co-occurrence of behaviours in genuine accounts. Three analyses compared 142 genuine rape with 30 simulated statements in terms of the base rates of behaviours reported within the statements, and in terms of the behavioural coherence of each statement to an established behavioural structure. Results suggest that genuine statements tend to report a larger total number of behaviours than simulated statements; that pseudo-intimate behaviours are significantly more often reported in genuine statements while some violent behaviours are more frequently reported in simulated statements; and that simulated statements are less behaviourally coherent than genuine statements. We concede the many limitations of the study but argue that results provide tentative evidence that false claimants, not fully appreciating the phenomenological experience of rape, overemphasise the significance of violent and demeaning behaviour whilst underplaying the significance of pseudo-intimate behaviour.