Verbal Veracity Indicators and the Efficacy of Countermeasures in Three Non-WEIRD Populations

Aldert Vrij, Sharon Leal, Haneen Deeb, Ronald P. Fisher


Practitioners ask whether verbal veracity cues are (i) diagnostic across populations and (i) resistant to countermeasures. We examined this by merging the three datasets reported by Vrij, Leal et al. (2020, 2022).

Participants from Lebanon (n = 187), Mexico (n = 205) and South-Korea (n = 239) discussed a city-trip they had made (truth tellers, n = 328) or made up a story (lie tellers, n = 303) about such a trip. Some participants (n = 325) were informed about the relation between deception and complications, common knowledge details and self-handicapping strategies (informed participants), whereas others were not (uninformed participants). The dependent variables were total details, complications, common knowledge details, self-handicapping strategies and plausibility.

All five variables discriminated truth tellers from lie tellers, but particularly complications and plausibility. These cues were diagnostic veracity indicators across different populations and remained diagnostic when we compared informed lie tellers with uninformed truth tellers.

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