Towards a system variable approach to improving the quality of alibi evidence Book Chapter

Charman, SD, Shambaugh, L. (2022). Towards a system variable approach to improving the quality of alibi evidence . 55-73. 10.1007/978-3-030-95663-9_5

cited authors

  • Charman, SD; Shambaugh, L


  • The extant literature on the psychology of alibis has focused primarily on documenting various limitations associated with alibi evidence, as opposed to developing practical recommendations aimed at improving the quality of alibi evidence (i.e., taking a system variable approach). In this chapter, we argue that generating practical recommendations requires appreciating the tripartite classification of suspects, in which alibi providers can be categorized as either (a) deceptive, (b) honest/accurate, or (c) honest/mistaken. On the basis of this classification system, we put forth three general strategies to improve the quality of alibi evidence. First, theoretically driven interventions should be developed that are aimed at transforming honest/mistaken alibi providers into honest/accurate alibi providers. Second, techniques should be developed that help honest/accurate alibi providers recall evidence that can corroborate their alibis. Third, research on deception detection should be leveraged to develop strategies that improve evaluators' abilities to discriminate between deceptive and honest alibi providers. We summarize the limited research that has taken a system variable approach to the study of alibis within the context of these three strategies.

publication date

  • May 9, 2022

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

International Standard Book Number (ISBN) 13

start page

  • 55

end page

  • 73