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Open Psychology

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Truth or Tale? How Construal Level and Judgment Mode Affect Confidence and Accuracy in Deception Detection

Mariela E. Jaffé / Marc-Andre Reinhard / Karl Ask / Rainer Greifeneder
Published Online: 2018-09-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psych-2018-0002


Previous research has indicated that individuals typically perform quite poorly in discerning truths from lies, and that confidence in judged veracity is not predictive of objective accuracy. In this experiment, we investigated the joint influence of construal level and judgment mode on detection accuracy and confidence. Participants (N = 161) watched eight videotaped true and false statements while adopting a high or low level of construal, and received instructions to detect the deceptiveness of the statements either before (online judgments) or after (offline judgments) watching the videos. Contrary to our predictions, construal level and judgment mode did not influence detection accuracy independently or interactively. However, low level participants were less confident when making judgments offline as opposed to online, whereas the confidence of high level participants was unaffected by judgment mode. Implications for deception detection research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Truth and lie detection; judgment mode; construal level theory


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About the article

Received: 2018-01-30

Accepted: 2018-06-25

Published Online: 2018-09-01

Citation Information: Open Psychology, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 12–24, ISSN (Online) 2543-8883, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/psych-2018-0002.

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© by Mariela E. Jaffé et al., published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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