Lie Detection: A Strategic Analysis of the Verifiability Approach

Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2020-029/I

33 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2020

See all articles by Konstantinos Ioannidis

Konstantinos Ioannidis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB); Tinbergen Institute; University of Amsterdam - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making (CREED)

Theo Offerman

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Econometrics (FEE)

Randolph Sloof

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Business (FEB); Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: May 29, 2020

Abstract

The Verifiability Approach is a lie detection method based on the insight that truth-tellers provide precise details whereas liars sometimes remain vague to avoid being exposed. We provide a-game-theoretic analysis of a speaker who wants to be acquitted and an investigator who prefers to find out the truth. The investigator can verify the speaker’s statement at some cost; verification gets more reliable the more details are provided. If, after a falsified statement, the investigator convicts, an additional obstruction penalty is imposed. We derive all the equilibria of the game and thereby the conditions under which the investigator can infer additional information from the speaker's statement at face value. Strategic information revelation by the speaker and verification by the investigator then necessarily work in tandem. Improvements in reliability result in more valuable (strategic) information transmission, whereas a harsher obstruction penalty does not as soon as a lower limit is met.

Keywords: Lie Detection, Verifiability Approach, Strategic Information Revelation

JEL Classification: K14, C72, D01, D82

Suggested Citation

Ioannidis, Konstantinos and Offerman, Theo and Sloof, Randolph, Lie Detection: A Strategic Analysis of the Verifiability Approach (May 29, 2020). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper 2020-029/I, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3620710 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3620710

Konstantinos Ioannidis (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

University of Amsterdam - Center for Research in Experimental Economics and Political Decision-Making (CREED) ( email )

Faculty of Economics and Econometrics
Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Theo Offerman

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Econometrics (FEE) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 4294 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5283 (Fax)

Randolph Sloof

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Economics & Business (FEB) ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands
+31 20 525 5241 (Phone)
+31 20 525 4310 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS
Netherlands

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