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

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Description: Abstract: 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. While the power of our replication study was suboptimal (.77), Bayesian statistics showed evidence in favor of the null hypothesis. Given the great applied consequences of verbal lie tests, we hope this first replication attempt ignites much needed preregistered, high-powered, multi-lab replication efforts.


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