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In Psychological research

The identification of faked identities, especially within the Internet environment, still remains a challenging issue both for companies and researchers. Recently, however, latency-based lie detection techniques have been developed to evaluate whether the respondent is the real owner of a certain identity. Among the paradigms applied to this purpose, the technique of asking unexpected questions has proved to be useful to differentiate liars from truth-tellers. The aim of the present study was to assess whether a choice reaction times (RT) paradigm, combined with the unexpected question technique, could efficiently detect identity liars. Results demonstrate that the most informative feature in distinguishing liars from truth-tellers is the Inverse Efficiency Score (IES, an index that combines speed and accuracy) to unexpected questions. Moreover, to focus on the predictive power of the technique, machine-learning models were trained and tested, obtaining an out-of-sample classification accuracy of 90%. Overall, these findings indicate that it is possible to detect liars declaring faked identities by asking unexpected questions and measuring RTs and errors, with an accuracy comparable to that of well-established latency-based techniques, such as mouse and keystroke dynamics recording.

Monaro Merylin, Zampieri Ilaria, Sartori Giuseppe, Pietrini Pietro, OrrĂ¹ Graziella