Reality Monitoring in the Forensic Context: Digging Deeper into the Speech of Liars

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Reality monitoring (RM) indicates that truthful accounts contain more perceptual and contextual details than false accounts. Considering the tendency of liars to manipulate their accounts by adding false details, I compared truths and lies in terms of the amount and veracity of details provided by suspects across three conditions: a single statement provided immediately; a single statement following a two-week delay; or two statements, the first provided immediately and the second following a two-week delay. Distinguishing truths from lies was possible across conditions, but with varying intensity. Truth-tellers provided only truthful details, whereas liars provided both truthful and false details. While the opportunity to provide truthful details decreased over time for both truth-tellers and liars, only the latter compensated for this decrease by adding false details. The current study provides a new empirical approach and significant insight into the application of the RM framework in the forensic context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-440
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • Detection deception
  • Memory
  • Reality monitoring
  • Richness in detail
  • Self-manipulated memory

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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