Completion of this research was facilitated by assistance from the Robert E. Floweree Fund. The authors would like to thank Felicia Adler, Amy Abrams, Jonathan Angrist, Dennis Budd, Ligia Chavez, Seth Hootstein, Harrel Kahn, Andy Kaplan, Iris Katzler, Carol Mangis, Stephanie Newman, Audrey Rabinowitz, Jonathan Rosenberg, Marci Schein, Sabrina Simon, Chuck Simons, Dana Spivak, and Oscar Tanaka for their assistance with this project.
The Reluctance to Expose Dangerous Lies1
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 24, Issue 4, pages 301–315, February 1994
How to Cite
Taylor, L., Gittes, M., O'Neal, E. C. and Brown, S. (1994), The Reluctance to Expose Dangerous Lies. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24: 301–315. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb00584.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Three studies examined a hypothesized inhibition against exposing a lie. In Experiment 1, 21 men and 27 women were placed in conditions in which their nonexposure of another's lie resulted either in the risk of an experimenter's data being contaminated (impersonal consequence), or in the risk of the subject contracting pinkeye (personal consequence). Each person was given the opportunity to expose the lie, first in a group setting, and later in a private setting. Eighty-three percent of the subjects in the impersonal condition and 77% of the subjects in the personal condition failed to expose the lie. Experiment 2 explored the phenomenon further by assessing whether subjects not in the presence of individuals other than the liar would be more likely to confront the lie. As in Experiment 1, it was found that most subjects did not reveal the lie, regardless of consequence condition of setting. In Experiment 3, it was anticipated that objective self-awareness would interact with consequence information to produce more exposing behavior in the personal-consequence condition, but not in the impersonal condition. Results generally confirmed the hypothesis; a significant interaction of Consequence x Self-Awareness Condition was found.