Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Christian A Meissner
Repeated interviews are common during an investigation, and perceived consistency between multiple statements is associated with an interviewee’s credibility. Furthermore, research has shown that the act of lying can affect a person’s memory for what truthfully occurred. The current study assessed the influence of lying on memory during initial and repeated interviews, as well as how an interviewer’s approach might affect between-statement consistency for true and false statements. In Experiment 1, participants performed actions, and then later lied or told the truth by describing these actions or by denying they had performed them. After each statement, participants provided judgments of learning for their lies and truths. One week later, participants were tested on their source memory. In Experiment 2, I adapted this procedure to manipulate whether participants were able to choose the items that they would lie and tell the truth about, as well as whether participants provided memory prediction ratings. In Experiments 1 and 2, people believed they would remember – and did actually remember – truthfully rehearsed actions better, especially when they described actions. However, in Experiment 2, there were no differences for people who were able to exert volition over their lies and truths with respect to source memory accuracy or statement consistency. In Experiment 3, participants performed a scavenger hunt at four different locations on campus and then were either dismissed or interviewed (with a reverse order instruction or a control interview) about their activities. Participants chose two of the locations to tell the truth about and then created a lie about activities in two other buildings that had not been visited. One week later, all participants provided a second free recall statement about their activities during the scavenger hunt, and then a final truthful description of both areas that were visited during the scavenger hunt. Truthfully rehearsed experiences were associated with more accurate recall of information learned during the scavenger hunt as well as more consistent statements. The control interview led to initially more detailed statements, but more inconsistencies in the form of omissions.
Rachel Elizabeth Dianiska
Dianiska, Rachel Elizabeth, "Lying and memory in forensic interviews: The influence of voluntary deception and repeated interviews on memory for the truth" (2020). Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 18119.