Interpersonal Deception

Authors

  • JUDEE K. BURGOON,

    1. Judee K. Burgoon is a professor of communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson. David B. Buller is an associate professor of communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
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  • DAVID B. BULLER,

    1. Judee K. Burgoon is a professor of communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson. David B. Buller is an associate professor of communication at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
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  • LEESA DILLMAN,

    1. Leesa Dillman is an assistant professor of communication at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
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  • JOSEPH B. WALTHER

    1. Joseph B. Walther is an assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University.
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  • Portions of this article were presented to the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, May 1989. This project was funded by the U.S. Army Research Institute (Contract MDA903–90-K-0113). The views, opinions, and findings in this report are those of the authors and should not be construed as an official position, policy, or decision of the Department of the Army.

Abstract

Interpersonal deception theory (IDT) frames deception as a communication activity and examines deception within interactive contexts. One key element of the theory is the role of suspicion in prompting behavior changes. An experiment testing several suspicion-related hypotheses paired participants (half friends, half strangers) for interviews during which interviewees (EEs) lied or told the truth and interviewers (ERs) were induced to be (moderately or highly) suspicious (or not). Results confirmed that suspicion and deceit were perceived when present, suspicion was manifested through nonverbal behaviors but with different behavioral patterns for moderately versus highly suspicious ERs, and suspicion affected sender behavior. Relational familiarity moderated some behaviors. Results are discussed in terms of mutual influence processes and the dynamic nature of communication in interpersonal deception.

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