The inconsistent suspect: A systematic review of different types of consistency in truth tellers and liars

A. Vredeveldt, P.J. van Koppen, P.A. Granhag

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterProfessional


Many people believe that inconsistency is a sign of lying, and that consistency is a sign of truth telling. The present chapter assesses the validity of these popular beliefs. We review the literature on the relationship between consistency and deception, and present an overview of effect sizes obtained in studies on this topic. Four different types of consistency are explored, namely: within-statement consistency, between-statement consistency, within-group consistency, and statement-evidence consistency. We also discuss three interview approaches designed to amplify differences between liars and truth tellers—the unanticipated-question approach, the cognitive-load approach, and the strategic use of evidence technique—and examine their impact on different types of consistency. Finally, we identify limitations and gaps in the literature and provide directions for future research.keywordsconsistencydeceptionsuspectsinterviewing techniquesunanticipated questionsstrategic use of evidence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInvestigative interviewing
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4614-9642-7
ISBN (Print)978-1-4614-9641-0
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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