Unconscious Processes Improve Lie Detection

Reinhard, M. -A. and Greifeneder, R. and Scharmach, M.. (2013) Unconscious Processes Improve Lie Detection. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105 (5). pp. 721-739.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6205527

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The capacity to identify cheaters is essential for maintaining balanced social relationships, yet humans have been shown to be generally poor deception detectors. In fact, a plethora of empirical findings holds that individuals are only slightly better than chance when discerning lies from truths. Here, we report 5 experiments showing that judges’ ability to detect deception greatly increases after periods of unconscious processing. Specifically, judges who were kept from consciously deliberating outperformed judges who were encouraged to do so or who made a decision immediately; moreover, unconscious thinkers’ detection accuracy was significantly above chance level. The reported experiments further show that this improvement comes about because unconscious thinking processes allow for integrating the particularly rich information basis necessary for accurate lie detection. These findings suggest that the human mind is not unfit to distinguish between truth and deception but that this ability resides in previously overlooked processes.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Sozialpsychologie (Greifeneder)
UniBasel Contributors:Greifeneder, Rainer
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:American Psychological Association
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:21 Sep 2018 15:05
Deposited On:31 Jan 2014 09:51

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