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Lies in Conversation: An Examination of Deception Using Automated Linguistic Analysis


The present study investigated changes in both the sender’s and the receiver’s linguistic style across truthful and deceptive dyadic communication. A computer-based analysis of 242 transcripts revealed that senders used more words overall, increased references to others, and used more sense-based descriptions (e.g., seeing, touching) when lying as compared to telling the truth.  Receivers naïve to the deception manipulation produced more words and sense terms, and asked more questions with shorter sentences when they were being lied to than when they were being told the truth. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for linguistic style matching.

J.T. Hancock
L. Curry
S. Goorha
M.T. Woodworth
Proceedings, Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, 26, 534-540. Mahwah, NJ: LEA. (Acceptance rate 31%)
Publication Date
August 7, 2004