Deception Social Psychology

Theory of Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues to lying and the theories behind deception


Deception...what it is and why do we study it?

Deception... managing beh to give a false impression

Why Study It?

Lying seen as unmoral yet everyone does it.

Good to study the verbal and non-verbal cues people do during lying

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Verbal and Non-Verbal Cues During Deception

Beliefs of Cues During Non-Verbal Deception

Fidgiting, touching hair & body, avoided eye contact 

Vrij, 2008

Evidence Against

150 studies of Mock Crimes. Found there was no single V or NV cues 

De Paulo et al, 2003

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Impression Formation

What is Impression Formation....

....1st impressions of a indiv or grp. Can create biases to them. e.g. we trust attractive ppl more....this is known as the 'halo effect'.


90% liars have strategy & 70% of truth tellers have a strategy

Stromwall et al, 2006

Liars plan both V & NV & truth tellers just plan V

Hartwig et al, 2007

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Theories of Deception

1. Multiple Factor Model

Beh affected by emotion, cog load, and control

Emotion = guilt & excitment. Seen in more at risk lies. Higher pitched voice & more body language

Cog Load = stress of making up story & controling beh. Rigid & tense

Control = hiding emotion & cog load. 

More of these on show = more cues on show

2. Self Presentation Theory

Lying involves less morals and good acting. 

Factors can affect both liars and truth tellers

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3. Interpersonal Detection Theory

Lying not unidirectional = feedback to lie can change its direction

Both liar and feedback indiv take part in the lie 

To Be A Good Liar....

- good actor

- good at observing own body language

- prepare well

- dont show stereotypical cues

- dont imitate truth tellers

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