Remembrance of lies past: a comparison of the features and consistency of truthful and fabricated trauma narratives
deception, narratives, trauma, victimization, credibility
The credibility of reports of victimization must be evaluated by police and adjudicators. The present prospective study investigated the features of truthful and fabricated narratives of trauma and their relative consistency over a 6-month period. Participants described both a genuine and fabricated traumatic experience on three occasions over the 6 months. The narrative features were coded at each phase and the stories’ consistency was examined at Times 2 and 3. We found that truthful trauma narratives contained more: details, contextual information, and emotional details, and were rated as more ‘plausible’, relative to fabricated traumas. The details of truthful narratives also were more factually consistent than fabricated narratives over the 6 month interval. This research offers basic information on the nature and consistency of traumatic memories, and potentially applicable information for discriminating true and false allegations.
Peace, K. A., & Porter, S. (2011). Remembrance of lies past: A comparison of the features and consistency of truthful and fabricated trauma narratives. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 414-423. doi: 10.1002/acp.1708
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