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See no evil: The effect of communication medium and motivation on deception detection


The present study reports an experiment that examines the role of communication medium and liar motivation on deception detection. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two dyadic communication conditions, text-based, computer-mediated environment or face-to-face, and to one of two motivation conditions, high or low. Participants engaged in a discussion of four topics, in which one participant was deceptive during two topics and truthful during the other two. No main effect of communication medium or motivation level was observed. However, an interaction effect suggests that highly motivated liars interacting in a text-based, computer- mediated environment were the most successful in deceiving their partners. The implications of these results are discussed both in terms of the elimination of non- verbal cues, as well as the potential advantages to the motivated liar offered by text-based media.

J.T. Hancock
M. Woodworth
S. Goorha
Group Decision and Negotiation, 19, 327-343
Publication Date
July 1, 2010