The Role of Consistency in Detecting Deception: The Superiority of Correspondence over Coherence

Academic Article


  • Inconsistency is often considered an indication of deceit. The conceptualization of consistency used in deception research, however, has not made a clear distinction between two concepts long differentiated by philosophers: coherence and correspondence. The existing literature suggests that coherence is not generally useful for deception detection. Correspondence, however, appears to be quite useful. The present research developed a model of how correspondence is utilized to make judgments, and this article reports on four studies designed to elaborate on the model. The results suggest that judges attend strongly to correspondence and that they do so in an additive fashion. As noncorrespondent information accumulates, an increasingly smaller proportion of judges make truthful assessments of guilty suspects. This work provides a basic framework for examining how information is utilized to make deception judgments and forms the correspondence and coherence module of truth-default theory.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 20661705
  • Author List

  • Blair JP; Reimer TO; Levine TR
  • Start Page

  • 483
  • End Page

  • 498
  • Volume

  • 69
  • Issue

  • 5