Article | Communication Research | 2012

Deception and Its Detection: Effects of Monetary Incentives and Personal Relationship History

by Lyn M. Van Swol, Deepak Malhotra and Michael T. Braun

Abstract

The study examined detection of deception in unsanctioned, consequential lies between either friends or strangers using an ultimatum game. The sender was given an amount of money to divide with the receiver. The receiver did not know the precise amount the sender had to divide, and the sender had the ability to deceive the receiver about the monetary amount. Not surprisingly, senders were more likely to deceive strangers than friends, and receivers were more suspicious of strangers than friends. When senders lied, they stated their offer more times and gave more supporting statements for their offer. Receivers had a strong truth bias, although the majority of senders were truthful, and friends had more of a truth bias than strangers. Receivers were not able to detect deception at a rate above chance. Friends were not better at detecting deception than strangers. However, because most participants were truthful and there was a strong truth bias, a high percentage of participants were able to detect when their partner was truthful, in confirmation of the veracity effect.

Keywords: Motivation and Incentives; Money; Ethics; Relationships;

Citation:

Van Swol, Lyn M., Deepak Malhotra, and Michael T. Braun. "Deception and Its Detection: Effects of Monetary Incentives and Personal Relationship History." Communication Research 39, no. 2 (2012): 217–238.