Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Congruency Between Encoding and Testing Improves Detection of Concealed Memories

Ine Van der Cruyssen*, Franziska Regnath, Gershon Ben-Shakhar, Yoni Pertzov, Bruno Verschuere

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study addressed modality effects in a web-based Concealed Information Test (CIT) by asking participants to encode, and later conceal, crime-related details. Items were encoded and tested verbally or pictorially. A pilot (N = 73) and a preregistered study (N = 158) showed a robust interaction between encoding and testing modality: Items that were encoded and tested in the same modality were associated with better detection. Moreover, recognition of verbally encoded items could not be detected in a pictorial test. Our findings support the existence of a modality-congruency effect when subjects try to conceal their knowledge. In applied scenarios, the modality of test items should be matched to the modality in which crime-related details were encoded. Furthermore, a pictorial CIT might protect informed innocents if leakage happened verbally.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)667-676
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Keywords

  • Concealed information test
  • Dual code
  • Memory
  • Modality
  • Picture superiority
  • Transfer-appropriate processing

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