Investigative Interviewing

pp 183-207


The Inconsistent Suspect: A Systematic Review of Different Types of Consistency in Truth Tellers and Liars

  • Annelies VredeveldtAffiliated withVU University Amsterdam Email author 
  • , Peter J. van KoppenAffiliated withVU University AmsterdamMaastricht University
  • , Pär Anders GranhagAffiliated withUniversity of Gothenburg

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


Many people believe that inconsistency is a sign of lying, and that consistency is a sign of truth telling. The present chapter assesses the validity of these popular beliefs. We review the literature on the relationship between consistency and deception, and present an overview of effect sizes obtained in studies on this topic. Four different types of consistency are explored, namely: within-statement consistency, between-statement consistency, within-group consistency, and statement-evidence consistency. We also discuss three interview approaches designed to amplify differences between liars and truth tellers—the unanticipated-question approach, the cognitive-load approach, and the Strategic Use of Evidence technique—and examine their impact on different types of consistency. Finally, we identify limitations and gaps in the literature and provide directions for future research.


Consistency Deception Suspects Interviewing techniques Unanticipated questions Strategic Use of Evidence