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Forensic Psychology – Investigative Interviewing and Lie Detection

4. The Cognitive Approach

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In this lecture, we think about the cognitive approach to lie detection, focusing in particular on: (i) the two ‘strands’ in the cognitive approach being non-verbal cues and verbal content cues; (ii) Vrij’s proposition that deception can be detected by increasing cognitive load in other ways and observing the decline in coherence which will occur if the individual in question is lying; (iii) an important distinction made from the emotional approach, whereby the cognitive approach seeks out only cognitive cues, rather than anxiety based cues; (iv) reverse order as a cognitively demand task used for lie detection; (v) Vrij and colleagues’ 2008 study, which explored the effectiveness of the reverse order instruction; (vi) Vrij and colleagues’ findings, that liars were able to provide less auditory information about the situation, had more speech hesitations, and fidgeted more; (vii) Vrij and colleagues’ second study, which used footage from the liars in the first study to assess participants’ ability to detect lies, finding that they were more easily able to detect lies in the reverse order condition; (viii) Vrij and colleagues’ 2017 meta-analysis, which found an increase in lie detection when using cognitive approaches to detect lies.


In this course, Dr Cody Porter (University of the West of England) explores investigative interviewing and lie detection. In the first lecture, we think about methods of investigative interviewing, including the two main types and four dimensions of each. In the second lecture, we think about historical approaches to lie detection, from ancient practices to the modern polygraph. In the third lecture, we think about how body language can be used to detect deception. Next, we think about the cognitive approach to lie detection. In the fifth lecture, we think about how best to approach detecting deception. In the sixth and final lecture, we review the ‘investigator’s toolkit’ of strategies to detect deception.


Dr Cody Porter is a senior lecturer in social psychology in the department of Health and Social Sciences at the University of the West of England. Dr Porter’s research interests are in information elicitation, lie detection and offending behaviour. Some of Dr Porter’s recent publications include ‘Implementing converged security risk management: Drivers, barriers, and facilitators’ (in press) and ‘Applying the asymmetric information management technique to insurance claims’ (2022).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Porter, C. (2022, October 04). Forensic Psychology – Investigative Interviewing and Lie Detection - The Cognitive Approach [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Porter, C. "Forensic Psychology – Investigative Interviewing and Lie Detection – The Cognitive Approach." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 04 Oct 2022,

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