Catching liars by listening carefully: promises and challenges for verbal credibility assessment

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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In recent years, police departments have shown increasing interest in using lie detection methods. Several police regions began using Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN) on a trial basis and the experiences were overwhelmingly positive. However, the scientific foundation on which this method rests leaves much to be desired. For my PhD project, I carried out structural research on the usability, preconditions and potential improvements that can be made to various lie detection methods, including SCAN. Observational differences can be seen in terms of both the content and linguistic characteristics of true and untrue statements. These differences can also be assessed using scientifically substantiated detection methods. SCAN, unfortunately, does not fall within this category and is unsuitable in its present form for detecting lies.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Merckelbach, Harald, Supervisor
  • Vrij, Aldert, Supervisor
  • Meijer, Ewout, Co-Supervisor
Award date27 Jan 2017
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789461596529
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • lie detection methods
  • SCAN
  • content
  • linguistic characteristics

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