Strategies for deception by liars and truthtellers
Finlay, James Cole
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One of the recent avenues of research within the field of deception is the differences in strategies used by liars and truth tellers. The present work examines the actual strategies reported by liars and truth tellers shortly after telling a lie or a truth in a high stakes lie situation, and then examines predictions consistent with pre-existing theories of deception such as Interpersonal Deception Theory (IDT) and the Leakage hierarchy. Thus, liars and truth tellers were compared on the number of strategies reported, the specific strategies deployed, and the total number of unique strategies for fooling lie catchers. It was found that truth tellers were more likely to report not using any strategy, and that liars reported proportionally a more unique set of strategies than truth tellers. Additionally, findings were examined in light of IDT and leakage hierarchy in order to determine which best described the pattern of behaviors. The strategies were then classified into those requiring the person to perform an action or those requiring the person to suppress an action, and then liars and truth tellers were compared. The results indicated that liars report more suppression based strategies than truth tellers, findings consistent with the leakage hierarchy. Finally, liars reported being more likely to engage in strategies related to manipulating the interpersonal interaction with the lie catcher. These results provide partial support for both IDT and the leakage hierarchy. Finally, the ramifications for future research are discussed.