A lie and a mistress: On increasing the believability of your alibi

R. Nieuwkamp, R. Horselenberg, P.J. van Koppen

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The present study was designed to assess whether or not the presentation method and the salaciousness of an alibi affect its evaluation. Community participants (n = 150) were asked to evaluate the salacious or non-salacious alibi of a crime suspect. The alibi was either presented immediately after arrest by the suspect or was changed after the initial alibi turned out to be incorrect. The incorrect alibi was due to either a misrecollection or a deliberate lie. We found that when the initial alibi was changed into a salacious one, the believability increased. This effect was larger when the initial alibi was a lie than when it was a misrecollection. The results of the present study demonstrate that, contrary to common belief, a changed salacious alibi can lead to an increase in alibi believability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychiatry, Psychology and Law
Early online date10 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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