Does the truth come out in the writing? Scan as a lie detection tool

Galit Nahari, Aldert Vrij, Ronald P. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We tested the accuracy of Scientific Content Analysis (SCAN), a verbal lie detection tool that is used world-wide by federal law enforcement and military agencies. Sixty-one participants were requested to write down the truth, an outright lie or a concealment lie about activities they had just completed. The statements were coded with SCAN and with another verbal lie detection tool, Reality Monitoring (RM). RM discriminated significantly between truth tellers and outright liars and between truth tellers and concealment liars, whereas SCAN did not discriminate between truth tellers and either kind of liar. Implications of the findings for the suitability of SCAN as a lie detection tool are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-76
Number of pages9
JournalLaw and Human Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


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