Discriminating deceptive from truthful statements using the verifiability approach: A meta-analysis

Bruno Verschuere*, Glynis Bogaard, Ewout Meijer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Verifiability Approach predicts that truth tellers will include details that can be verified by the interviewer, whereas liars will refrain from providing such details. A meta‐analysis revealed that truth tellers indeed provided more verifiable details (k = 28, d = 0.49, 95% CI [0.25; 0.74], BF10 = 93.28), and a higher proportion of verifiable details (k = 26, d = 0.49 95% CI: 0.25, 0.74, p < .001, BF10 = 81.49) than liars. We found no evidence that liars would include more unverifiable details than truth tellers (k = 20, d = −0.31, 95% CI [−0.02; 0.64], BF10 = 1.12) Moderator analysis revealed the verifiable detail effect was substantially larger when the statement is the suspect's alibi, but smaller when an incentive to appear credible was used. Our findings support the main prediction behind the Verifiability Approach, but also stress the need for larger sample sizes and independent replications
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-384
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date15 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • deception detection
  • honesty
  • meta&#8208
  • analysis
  • reality monitoring
  • verifiability approach
  • LIES
  • CUES

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