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When deception becomes easy: the effects of task switching and goal neglect on the truth proportion effect

B Van Bockstaele, C Wilhelm, E Meijer, Evelyne Debey and Bruno Verschuere (2015) Frontiers in Psychology. 6.
abstract
Lying is typically more cognitively demanding than truth telling. Yet, recent cognitive models of lying propose that lying can be just as easy as truth telling, depending on contextual factors. In line with this idea, research has shown that the cognitive cost of deception decreases when people frequently respond deceptively, while it increases when people rarely respond deceptively (i.e., the truth proportion effect). In the present study, we investigated two possible underlying mechanisms of the truth proportion effect. In Experiment 1 (N = 121), we controlled for the impact of switch costs by keeping the number of switches between deceptive and truthful responses constant. We found that people who often responded deceptively made fewer errors when responding deceptively than people who only occasionally responded deceptively, replicating the truth proportion effect. Thus, while the truth proportion effect in earlier studies may be partially driven by the cost of switching between truthful and deceptive responses, we still found evidence for the truth proportion effect while controlling for switch costs. In Experiment 2 (N = 68), we assessed whether the truth proportion effect is influenced by goal neglect. According to this view, the truth proportion effect should be reduced if participants are cued to maintain the task goals, while it should be larger when participants are allowed to neglect the task goals. In line with this hypothesis, we found a smaller truth proportion effect when participants were cued with the task goals compared to when they were not cued. This study shows that the truth proportion effect is influenced by goal neglect, implying that frequent deceptive responding strengthens the goal of responding deceptively. Our findings imply that the accuracy of lie detection tests could be increased by using a majority of truth items (i.e., induce the truth proportion effect), and that the truth proportion effect should be maximized
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
COGNITIVE-LOAD, EXECUTIVE CONTROL, INTERFERENCE, RECONFIGURATION, LIARS, CUE, truth default, frequent lying, switch cost, inhibition, deception
journal title
Frontiers in Psychology
Front. Psychol.
volume
6
article number
1666
pages
9 pages
publisher
FRONTIERS MEDIA SA
place of publication
LAUSANNE
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000364478900001
JCR category
PSYCHOLOGY, MULTIDISCIPLINARY
JCR impact factor
2.463 (2015)
JCR rank
29/129 (2015)
JCR quartile
1 (2015)
ISSN
1664-1078
DOI
10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01666
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
7102523
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-7102523
date created
2016-02-25 15:41:05
date last changed
2017-01-02 09:56:52
@article{7102523,
  abstract     = {Lying is typically more cognitively demanding than truth telling. Yet, recent cognitive models of lying propose that lying can be just as easy as truth telling, depending on contextual factors. In line with this idea, research has shown that the cognitive cost of deception decreases when people frequently respond deceptively, while it increases when people rarely respond deceptively (i.e., the truth proportion effect). In the present study, we investigated two possible underlying mechanisms of the truth proportion effect. In Experiment 1 (N = 121), we controlled for the impact of switch costs by keeping the number of switches between deceptive and truthful responses constant. We found that people who often responded deceptively made fewer errors when responding deceptively than people who only occasionally responded deceptively, replicating the truth proportion effect. Thus, while the truth proportion effect in earlier studies may be partially driven by the cost of switching between truthful and deceptive responses, we still found evidence for the truth proportion effect while controlling for switch costs. In Experiment 2 (N = 68), we assessed whether the truth proportion effect is influenced by goal neglect. According to this view, the truth proportion effect should be reduced if participants are cued to maintain the task goals, while it should be larger when participants are allowed to neglect the task goals. In line with this hypothesis, we found a smaller truth proportion effect when participants were cued with the task goals compared to when they were not cued. This study shows that the truth proportion effect is influenced by goal neglect, implying that frequent deceptive responding strengthens the goal of responding deceptively. Our findings imply that the accuracy of lie detection tests could be increased by using a majority of truth items (i.e., induce the truth proportion effect), and that the truth proportion effect should be maximized},
  articleno    = {1666},
  author       = {Van Bockstaele, B and Wilhelm, C and Meijer, E and Debey, Evelyne and Verschuere, Bruno},
  issn         = {1664-1078},
  journal      = {Frontiers in Psychology},
  keyword      = {COGNITIVE-LOAD,EXECUTIVE CONTROL,INTERFERENCE,RECONFIGURATION,LIARS,CUE,truth default,frequent lying,switch cost,inhibition,deception},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {9},
  publisher    = {FRONTIERS MEDIA SA},
  title        = {When deception becomes easy: the effects of task switching and goal neglect on the truth proportion effect},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01666},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2015},
}

Chicago
Van Bockstaele, B, C Wilhelm, E Meijer, Evelyne Debey, and Bruno Verschuere. 2015. “When Deception Becomes Easy: The Effects of Task Switching and Goal Neglect on the Truth Proportion Effect.” Frontiers in Psychology 6.
APA
Van Bockstaele, B, Wilhelm, C., Meijer, E., Debey, E., & Verschuere, B. (2015). When deception becomes easy: the effects of task switching and goal neglect on the truth proportion effect. Frontiers in Psychology, 6.
Vancouver
1.
Van Bockstaele B, Wilhelm C, Meijer E, Debey E, Verschuere B. When deception becomes easy: the effects of task switching and goal neglect on the truth proportion effect. Frontiers in Psychology. LAUSANNE: FRONTIERS MEDIA SA; 2015;6.
MLA
Van Bockstaele, B, C Wilhelm, E Meijer, et al. “When Deception Becomes Easy: The Effects of Task Switching and Goal Neglect on the Truth Proportion Effect.” Frontiers in Psychology 6 (2015): n. pag. Print.