Dropping the anchor: The use of plausibility in credibility assessments

Enide F.L. Maegherman, Tanja van Veldhuizen, R. Horselenberg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Decisions in asylum seeking procedures tend to be based on a credibility assessment. This meansthat the story on which the asylum claim is based is probed. Fourindicators are typically used to assess credibility, namely internal consistency, external consistency, sufficiency of detail and specificity, and plausibility. The relation between these indicators, and the problematic lack of understanding of the plausibility concept have been insufficiently addressed in previous research. According to the findings in this study, none of the indicators
seem to be rated objectively or independently of each other. There appears to be an unconscious problem of subjectivity in the credibility assessment. This issue could arise from the use of the ill-defined plausibility indicator, or could be due to another factor influencing all four indicators. The limitations of this study point to the need for further research to elucidate the unidentified influences on the indicators used in the credibility assessment in asylum procedures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalOxford Monitor of Forced Migration
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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