Italian Journal of Criminology

The official journal of the Italian Society of Criminology

by Maria Giovanna Tommasino, Biagio Fabrizio Carillo, Ignazio Grattagliano

The evaluation of the reliability of a witness must take into consideration a series of factors such as: the characteristics of the individual interviewed; the interviewer; the presence of repeated or suggested questions from the interview; as well as the motivation of the subject to render a more or less truthful account.  This involves, therefore, very delicate analysis which requires adequate preparation on the part of those called upon to carry out the task. In particular, special attention must be paid to the content of the declaration given by the subject. In light of some important contributions provided in the international literature, the objective of this work is to carry out a critical analysis of two instruments which are used to analyze the contents of testimony: the SVA, or the Statement Validity Analysis (with particular attention to CBCA, which makes up the integrative part), and the  RM, or Reality Monitoring. A comparison between these instruments and an analysis of the capacity of each of them to be able to correctly discriminate between true and false accounts has resulted from this analysis. By comparing the SVA and the RM, it was possible to show that both approaches have a set of discriminating criteria in common. While at the same time it has been noted that some of the characteristics present in one, are not present in the other. In light of these considerations, many studies have shown that the discriminative capacity of the SVA and the RM is much greater if the overall points of the two instruments are considered together and not singularly. In addition, both of these instruments offer a set of methodological limits that should go further in-depth. This work seeks to underline the importance of continuing studies in this field in light of the encouraging results that have been achieved in the area of reliability evaluation of witnesses as well as the possible integration of the two instruments.

Psicologa, collabora con la Sezione di Criminologia e Psichiatria forense dell’Università degli Studi di Bari

Maria Giovanna Tommasino
Capitano nell’Arma dei Carabinieri, collabora con l’Unità Operativa di Psichiatria Forense, Psicologia Giudiziaria e Criminologia Clinica dell’Università di Torino.

Biagio Fabrizio Carillo
Psicologo, Psicoterapeuta, Specialista in Criminologia clinica, Sezione di Criminologia
e Psichiatria forense, Di.M.I.M.P., Università degli Studi di Bari

Ignazio Grattagliano
Contacts: Ignazio Grattagliano, Sezione di Criminologia e Psichiatria forense, Di.M.I.M.P., Università degli Studi di Bari, p.zza Giulio Cesare 14, 70124 Bari, tel. 080/5478282 - fax 080/5478248
e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

From: Rassegna Italiana di Criminologia n. 2/2008



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