Truth, Lies, and Self-Presentation: How Gender and Anticipated Future Interaction Relate to Deceptive Behavior1


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    The authors thank Laurel Morton and Bryant Cortes for their assistance in conducting the experimental sessions.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to James M. Tyler, Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003. E-mail:


The present study hypothesized that gender and expectation of future interaction affects the frequency and nature of lying. Male and female participants (208 undergraduates) were randomly assigned to same- or opposite-gender partners and given the expectation they either would not meet again or would meet 3 additional times. Participants engaged in a 10-min conversation that was videotaped covertly. Later, target participants evaluated the videotape identifying lies they told. During the conversation, 78% of participants lied, with females lying significantly more than males. Females, but not males, lied more when expecting future interaction than when expecting no future interaction. The nature of lies also varied between women and men. Findings suggest women and men differentially use deception as a self-presentational tactic.