Using Named Entities for Computer-Automated Verbal Deception Detection

Bennett Kleinberg*, Maximilian Mozes, Arnoud Arntz, Bruno Verschuere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


There is an increasing demand for automated verbal deception detection systems. We propose named entity recognition (NER; i.e., the automatic identification and extraction of information from text) to model three established theoretical principles: (i) truth tellers provide accounts that are richer in detail, (ii) contain more contextual references (specific persons, locations, and times), and (iii) deceivers tend to withhold potentially checkable information. We test whether NER captures these theoretical concepts and can automatically identify truthful versus deceptive hotel reviews. We extracted the proportion of named entities with two NER tools (spaCy and Stanford's NER) and compared the discriminative ability to a lexicon word count approach (LIWC) and a measure of sentence specificity (speciteller). Named entities discriminated truthful from deceptive hotel reviews above chance level, and outperformed the lexicon approach and sentence specificity. This investigation suggests that named entities may be a useful addition to existing automated verbal deception detection approaches.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Forensic Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • forensic science
  • computational linguistics
  • deception detection
  • named entity recognition
  • linguistic inquiry and word count
  • reality monitoring
  • criteria-based content analysis
  • CUES

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