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Learning to lie : effects of practice on the cognitive cost of lying

Bram Van Bockstaele (UGent) , Bruno Verschuere (UGent) , T Moens, Kristina Suchotzki (UGent) , Evelyne Debey (UGent) and Adriaan Spruyt (UGent)
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Abstract
Cognitive theories on deception posit that lying requires more cognitive resources than telling the truth. In line with this idea, it has been demonstrated that deceptive responses are typically associated with increased response times and higher error rates compared to truthful responses. Although the cognitive cost of lying has been assumed to be resistant to practice, it has recently been shown that people who are trained to lie can reduce this cost. In the present study (n = 42), we further explored the effects of practice on one's ability to lie by manipulating the proportions of lie and truth-trials in a Sheffield lie test across three phases: Baseline (50% lie, 50% truth), Training (frequent-lie group: 75% lie, 25% truth; control group: 50% lie, 50% truth; and frequent-truth group: 25% lie, 75% truth), and Test (50% lie, 50% truth). The results showed that lying became easier while participants were trained to lie more often and that lying became more difficult while participants were trained to tell the truth more often. Furthermore, these effects did carry over to the test phase, but only for the specific items that were used for the training manipulation. Hence, our study confirms that relatively little practice is enough to alter the cognitive cost of lying, although this effect does not persist over time for non-practiced items.
Keywords
cognitive training, deception, intentionality, lie detection, response inhibition

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Van Bockstaele, Bram, Bruno Verschuere, T Moens, et al. “Learning to Lie : Effects of Practice on the Cognitive Cost of Lying.” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY 3 (2012): n. pag. Print.
APA
Van Bockstaele, Bram, Verschuere, B., Moens, T., Suchotzki, K., Debey, E., & Spruyt, A. (2012). Learning to lie : effects of practice on the cognitive cost of lying. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, 3.
Chicago author-date
Van Bockstaele, Bram, Bruno Verschuere, T Moens, Kristina Suchotzki, Evelyne Debey, and Adriaan Spruyt. 2012. “Learning to Lie : Effects of Practice on the Cognitive Cost of Lying.” Frontiers in Psychology 3.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Bockstaele, Bram, Bruno Verschuere, T Moens, Kristina Suchotzki, Evelyne Debey, and Adriaan Spruyt. 2012. “Learning to Lie : Effects of Practice on the Cognitive Cost of Lying.” Frontiers in Psychology 3.
Vancouver
1.
Van Bockstaele B, Verschuere B, Moens T, Suchotzki K, Debey E, Spruyt A. Learning to lie : effects of practice on the cognitive cost of lying. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY. 2012;3.
IEEE
[1]
B. Van Bockstaele, B. Verschuere, T. Moens, K. Suchotzki, E. Debey, and A. Spruyt, “Learning to lie : effects of practice on the cognitive cost of lying,” FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY, vol. 3, 2012.
@article{3137619,
  abstract     = {Cognitive theories on deception posit that lying requires more cognitive resources than telling the truth. In line with this idea, it has been demonstrated that deceptive responses are typically associated with increased response times and higher error rates compared to truthful responses. Although the cognitive cost of lying has been assumed to be resistant to practice, it has recently been shown that people who are trained to lie can reduce this cost. In the present study (n = 42), we further explored the effects of practice on one's ability to lie by manipulating the proportions of lie and truth-trials in a Sheffield lie test across three phases: Baseline (50% lie, 50% truth), Training (frequent-lie group: 75% lie, 25% truth; control group: 50% lie, 50% truth; and frequent-truth group: 25% lie, 75% truth), and Test (50% lie, 50% truth). The results showed that lying became easier while participants were trained to lie more often and that lying became more difficult while participants were trained to tell the truth more often. Furthermore, these effects did carry over to the test phase, but only for the specific items that were used for the training manipulation. Hence, our study confirms that relatively little practice is enough to alter the cognitive cost of lying, although this effect does not persist over time for non-practiced items.},
  articleno    = {526},
  author       = {Van Bockstaele, Bram and Verschuere, Bruno and Moens, T and Suchotzki, Kristina and Debey, Evelyne and Spruyt, Adriaan},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  journal      = {FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY},
  keywords     = {cognitive training,deception,intentionality,lie detection,response inhibition},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {8},
  title        = {Learning to lie : effects of practice on the cognitive cost of lying},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00526},
  volume       = {3},
  year         = {2012},
}

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