Are reality monitoring differences between truthful and deceptive autobiographical accounts affected by standardisation for word-count and the presence of others?

Although a number of methods have been proposed to control for word-count differences between truthful and deceptive accounts, there is no uniformity amongst researchers using the Reality Monitoring (RM) criteria as to when, why or how to standardise for word-count differences. Another factor that a...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Psychology, crime & law
Main Author: Elntib, Stamatis (Author)
Contributors: Wagstaff, Graham (Author)
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2017
In:Psychology, crime & law
Year: 2017, Volume: 23, Issue: 7, Pages: 699-716
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Although a number of methods have been proposed to control for word-count differences between truthful and deceptive accounts, there is no uniformity amongst researchers using the Reality Monitoring (RM) criteria as to when, why or how to standardise for word-count differences. Another factor that also has received little attention in the literature is whether the number of others present when a person is providing an account alters the lexical profile of accounts such that RM scores are affected. To investigate these issues, 62 autobiographical statements, 31 truthful and 31 deceptive, were generated under 3 conditions, no person present, 1 and 2 persons present, and were analysed before and after standardisation for word-count and duration. Results showed that the criteria successfully discriminated between truthful and deceptive accounts when no attempt to control for word-count was made and, to a lesser extent, when accounts were standardised for duration; however, they failed to discriminate after accounts had been standardised for length. The presence of others did not affect the ability to distinguish between truthful and deceptive accounts. The results highlight the difficulties involved in developing normative standardisation criteria which could be used in the field to classify individual or small numbers of cases.
ISSN:1477-2744
DOI:10.1080/1068316X.2017.1298762