ALIED: Humans as adaptive lie detectors

Chris Street

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


People make for poor lie detectors. They have accuracy rates comparable to a coin toss, and come with a set of systematic biases that sway the judgment. This pessimistic view stands in contrast to research showing that people make informed decisions that adapt to the context they operate in. The current article proposes a new theoretical direction for lie detection research. I argue that lie detectors make informed, adaptive judgments in a low-diagnostic world. This Adaptive Lie Detector (ALIED) account is outlined by drawing on supporting evidence from across various psychological literatures. The account is contrasted with longstanding and more recent accounts of the judgment process, which propose that people fall back on default ways of thinking. Limitations of the account are considered, and future research directions are outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Issue number4
Early online date24 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


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