Have you made up your story? The effect of suspicion and liars' strategies on reality monitoring



The impact of Veracity, Suspicion (weak or strong) and Strategy (making up a story or using past experiences) on Reality Monitoring (RM) scores was examined. A total of 158 undergraduate students were interviewed twice about the possession of an object. In one interview they were asked to lie, and in the other to tell the truth (Veracity factor). In both conditions, suspicion was raised in the second half of the interview: Participants were accused of lying by the interviewer and asked to repeat their account (Raised Suspicion factor). At the end of the interview participants were asked whether their lies were totally made up or whether they described an event that they had experienced previously (Strategy factor). Results revealed that truth tellers and liars' speech differed from each other in accordance with RM theory, even when the interviewer was suspicious and even when liars fabricated a story by describing events that they had previously experienced. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.