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Keywords:

  • investigative interviewing;
  • deception;
  • credibility;
  • reality monitoring;
  • CBCA;
  • vividness;
  • spontaneity

Abstract

This study describes the assimilation and validation of Assessment Criteria Indicative of Deception (ACID). ACID is derived from investigative interviewing, Criteria-Based Content Analysis, Reality Monitoring, and interpersonal deception. Each component has been previously published. Thirty-eight university undergraduates entered a professor's office and either stole an exam or replaced an exam that had been stolen previously. They were interviewed 1 week later with the Reality Interview, which is deliberately challenging and aims to enhance the detection of deception. Half responded honestly and completely; half distorted their responses to avoid incrimination. Incentives were provided. Honest responses were longer, more detailed, and contained more admissions of potential mistakes. Most importantly, honest respondents benefited from attempts to enhance recall, whereas these same attempts caused deceptive respondents to provide shorter, more repetitive statements. This is a promising technique; 33 of 38 cases were classified accurately. Discussion includes characteristics of deception, process of deception during an investigative interview, hypothetical interview strategies to facilitate the detection of deception, strengths and weaknesses of the study, and areas for future research. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.