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    Prior Exposure to Interviewee’s Truth-Telling &...
    research summary posted October 22, 2013 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 06.0 Risk and Risk Management, Including Fraud Risk, 06.01 Fraud Risk Assessment, 06.04 Management Integrity, 11.0 Audit Quality and Quality Control, 11.03 Management/Staff Interaction 
    Prior Exposure to Interviewee’s Truth-Telling (Baselining) and Deception-Detection Accuracy in Interviews
    Practical Implications:

    Although baselining appears to affect behaviors an interviewer perceives as deceptive, this study does not find evidence that baselining improves the accuracy of deception detection.  However, baselining does appear to increase the accuracy of identifying truthful interviewees.  The authors suggest that training interviewers in deception detection might improve the accuracy of their detection rates.  They note that very few participants in their study had had training in detecting deception and that future research may prove useful in this area.

    For more information on this study, please contact Chih-Chen Lee.


    Lee, C-C. and R. Welker. 2011 Prior Exposure to Interviewee’s Truth-Telling (Baselining) and Deception-Detection Accuracy in Interviews. Behavioral Research in Accounting 23 (2): 131-146.

    Deception detection; baselining; audit interviews.
    Purpose of the Study:

    This study examines if the effect of baselining (acquiring knowledge of an interviewee’s truth-telling behavior prior to attempting to detect deception) increases the ability of an interviewer to accurately assess deception during an interview.  Specifically, the authors examine:

    • Whether interviewers identify different indications of deceptive behavior for familiar interviewees than for unfamiliar interviewees; and
    • If deception detection is more accurate in an interview with a familiar (baselined) interviewee than an unfamiliar (non-baselined) interviewee.
    Design/Method/ Approach:

    208 students in junior level accounting courses were randomly paired into dyads consisting of an interviewer and interviewee.  The dyads were then divided into three treatment groups.  In one group, the interviewer baselined the interviewee engaging the interviewee in multiple truthful dialogues prior to a focal interview with the same interviewee where the interviewee may have either been honest or dishonest (interview of same person).  In the second group, the interviewer observed the truth telling behavior of one interviewee before the focal interview with a different interviewee (interview of different person).  In the third group no prior interview took place before the focal interview (No prior interview).  The interviewer’s task in all groups was to determine which interviewee statements in the focal interview were truthful and, which were deceptive.  The data were collected prior to 2011.

    • Interviewers who were familiar with the interviewee (baselined “interview of same person” group) perceived more behaviors as indicative of deception than did interviewers in either the “interview of different person” group or “no prior interview” group (9.8 behaviors indicative of deception compared to 8.0 behaviors indicative of deception, on average).
    • Interviewers of familiar interviewees identified behaviors such as providing irrelevant information, negative comments, and scratching as being more suspicious than did interviewers in either of the other groups.  Additionally, interviewers of familiar interviewees found the act of smiling to be a less suspicious behavior than did interviewers in the other two groups.  This indicates that familiarity with an interviewee affects which behaviors an interviewer identifies as suspicious.
    • No statistical difference was found in deception detection accuracy between the three groups indicating that familiarity (baselining) did not improve the accuracy of deception detection.
    • However, the interviewer’s accuracy of assessing an interviewee’s truthfulness was much higher when the interviewer was familiar with the interviewee.
    Audit Quality & Quality Control, Risk & Risk Management - Including Fraud Risk
    Fraud Risk Models, Management Integrity, Management/Staff Interaction