The first direct replication on using verbal credibility assessment for the detection of deceptive intentions

Bennett Kleinberg*, Lara Warmelink, Arnoud Arntz, Bruno Verschuere

*Corresponding author for this work

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4 Citations (Web of Science)


Verbal deception detection has gained momentum as a technique to tell truth-tellers from liars. At the same time, researchers' degrees of freedom make it hard to assess the robustness of effects. Replication research can help evaluate how reproducible an effect is. We present the first replication in verbal deception research whereby ferry passengers were instructed to tell the truth or lie about their travel plans. The original study found truth-tellers to include more specific time references in their answers. The replication study that closely mimicked the setting, procedure, materials, coding, and analyses found no lie-truth difference for specific time references. Although the power of our replication study was suboptimal (0.77), Bayesian statistics showed evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. Given the great applied consequences of verbal credibility tests, we hope this first replication attempt ignites much needed preregistered, high-powered, multilab replication efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-599
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • deception detection
  • intentions
  • replication
  • verbal credibility assessment
  • TRUE

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