How to Detect Deception in Everyday Life and the Reasons Underlying It


Correspondence to: Sara Agosta, Center for Neuroscience and Cognitive Systems, Italian Institute of Technology, Corso Bettini 31, 38068, Rovereto (TN),Italy.



The autobiographical Implicit Association Test (aIAT) evaluates which of two contrasting autobiographical events is true for an individual on the basis of implicit associations and corresponding reaction times in classifying sentences. In this research, white lies and corresponding reasons to lie were investigated. White lies are social lies. They are widespread in our in our daily lives, in the business world and in the forensic contexts. The ability to deceive is essential for polite interactions and, at times, self-preservation, but little research was conducted so far on this type of deception. The authors tested the efficiency of the aIAT in identifying a white lie and the real reason for producing a white lie, contrasting each participant's real motivation for lying and a false (faked) one. In both cases, aIAT differentiated truth from white lies and also identified the real reason from the faked one for all 20 participants. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.