Lie prevalence, lie characteristics and strategies of self-reported good liars

Autoři: Brianna L. Verigin aff001;  Ewout H. Meijer aff001;  Glynis Bogaard aff001;  Aldert Vrij aff002
Působiště autorů: Forensic Psychology Section, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands aff001;  Department of Psychology, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225566


Meta-analytic findings indicate that the success of unmasking a deceptive interaction relies more on the performance of the liar than on that of the lie detector. Despite this finding, the lie characteristics and strategies of deception that enable good liars to evade detection are largely unknown. We conducted a survey (n = 194) to explore the association between laypeople’s self-reported ability to deceive on the one hand, and their lie prevalence, characteristics, and deception strategies in daily life on the other. Higher self-reported ratings of deception ability were positively correlated with self-reports of telling more lies per day, telling inconsequential lies, lying to colleagues and friends, and communicating lies via face-to-face interactions. We also observed that self-reported good liars highly relied on verbal strategies of deception and they most commonly reported to i) embed their lies into truthful information, ii) keep the statement clear and simple, and iii) provide a plausible account. This study provides a starting point for future research exploring the meta-cognitions and patterns of skilled liars who may be most likely to evade detection.

Klíčová slova:

Behavior – Deception – Interpersonal relationships – Scientific misconduct – Social communication – Statistical distributions – Survey research


1. Bond C, DePaulo B. Accuracy of Deception Judgments. Personality and Social Psychology Review. 2006;10(3):214–234. doi: 10.1207/s15327957pspr1003_2 16859438

2. Vrij A. Detecting lies and deceit: Pitfalls and opportunities. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ; Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons; 2008 Feb 19.

3. Bond C, DePaulo B. Individual differences in judging deception: Accuracy and bias. Psychological Bulletin. 2008;134(4):477–492. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.4.477 18605814

4. Bond C, Kahler K, Paolicelli L. The miscommunication of deception: An adaptive perspective. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 1985;21(4):331–345.

5. Law MK, Jackson SA, Aidman E, Geiger M, Olderbak S, Kleitman S. It's the deceiver, not the receiver: No individual differences when detecting deception in a foreign and a native language. PloS One. 2018 May 3;13(5):e0196384. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196384 29723243

6. Levine TR. Examining sender and judge variability in honesty assessments and deception detection accuracy: Evidence for a transparent liar but no evidence of deception-general ability. Communication Research Reports. 2016 Jul 2;33(3):188–94.

7. Levine TR, Serota KB, Shulman H, Clare DD, Park HS, Shaw AS, et al. Sender demeanor: Individual differences in sender believability have a powerful impact on deception detection judgments. Human Communication Research. 2011 Jul 1;37(3):377–403.

8. DePaulo B, Rosenthal R. Telling lies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1979;37(10):1713–1722. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.37.10.1713 512835

9. Riggio RE, Tucker J, Throckmorton B. Social skills and deception ability. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 1987 Dec;13(4):568–77.

10. Vrij A, Granhag PA, Mann S. Good liars. The Journal of Psychiatry & Law. 2010 Mar;38(1–2):77–98.

11. Wright GR, Berry CJ, Bird G. “You can't kid a kidder”: association between production and detection of deception in an interactive deception task. Frontiers in human neuroscience. 2012 Apr 17;6:87. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00087 22529790

12. Wright GR, Berry CJ, Bird G. Deceptively simple… The “deception-general” ability and the need to put the liar under the spotlight. Frontiers in neuroscience. 2013 Aug 29;7:152. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2013.00152 24009549

13. DePaulo B, Kashy D, Kirkendol S, Wyer M, Epstein J. Lying in everyday life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1996;70(5):979–995. 8656340

14. George JF, Robb A. Deception and computer-mediated communication in daily life. Communication Reports. 2008 Nov 14;21(2):92–103.

15. Serota KB, Levine TR. A few prolific liars: Variation in the prevalence of lying. Journal of Language and Social Psychology. 2015 Mar;34(2):138–57.

16. Serota KB, Levine TR, Boster FJ. The prevalence of lying in America: Three studies of self-reported lies. Human Communication Research. 2010 Jan 1;36(1):2–25.

17. Halevy R, Shalvi S, Verschuere B. Being honest about dishonesty: Correlating self-reports and actual lying. Human Communication Research. 2014 Jan 1;40(1):54–72.

18. Feldman RS, Forrest JA, Happ BR. Self-presentation and verbal deception: Do self-presenters lie more?. Basic and applied social psychology. 2002 Jun 1;24(2):163–70.

19. Vrij A. Deception: A social lubricant and a selfish act. Social communication. 2007:309–42.

20. Craig D. The Right to Silence and Undercover Police Operations. International Journal of Police Science & Management. 2003;5(2):112–125.

21. Vrij A, Edward K, Roberts KP, Bull R. Detecting deceit via analysis of verbal and nonverbal behavior. Journal of Nonverbal behavior. 2000 Dec 1;24(4):239–63.

22. DePaulo B, Kashy D. Everyday lies in close and casual relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 1998;74(1):63–79. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.74.1.63 9457776

23. Van Swol LM, Braun MT, Kolb MR. Deception, detection, demeanor, and truth bias in face-to-face and computer-mediated communication. Communication Research. 2015 Dec;42(8):1116–42.

24. Vrij A, Granhag PA, Porter S. Pitfalls and opportunities in nonverbal and verbal lie detection. Psychological science in the public interest. 2010 Dec;11(3):89–121. doi: 10.1177/1529100610390861 26168416

25. DePaulo B. Nonverbal behavior and self-presentation. Psychological Bulletin. 1992;111(2):203–243. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.111.2.203 1557474

26. DePaulo B, Lindsay J, Malone B, Muhlenbruck L, Charlton K, Cooper H. Cues to deception. Psychological Bulletin. 2003;129(1):74–112. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.129.1.74 12555795

27. Hartwig M, Granhag PA, Strömwall LA. Guilty and innocent suspects’ strategies during police interrogations. Psychology, Crime & Law. 2007 Apr 1;13(2):213–27.

28. Colwell K, Hiscock-Anisman C, Memon A, Woods D, Michlik PM. Strategies of impression management among deceivers and truth-tellers: How liars attempt to convince. American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 2006(24):31–38.

29. Hartwig M, Granhag PA, Strömwall LA, Doering N. Impression and information management: On the strategic self-regulation of innocent and guilty suspects. The Open Criminology Journal. 2010 Jul;3(1):10–6.

30. Strömwall LA, Hartwig M, Granhag PA. To act truthfully: Nonverbal behaviour and strategies during a police interrogation. Psychology, Crime & Law. 2006 Apr 1;12(2):207–19.

31. Strömwall LA, Willén RM. Inside criminal minds: Offenders' strategies when lying. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. 2011 Oct;8(3):271–81.

32. Nahari G, Vrij A, Fisher RP. Exploiting liars' verbal strategies by examining the verifiability of details. Legal and Criminological Psychology. 2014 Sep;19(2):227–39.

33. Nahari G, Vrij A, Fisher RP. The verifiability approach: Countermeasures facilitate its ability to discriminate between truths and lies. Applied Cognitive Psychology. 2014 Jan;28(1):122–8.

34. Nahari G, Ashkenazi T, Fisher RP, Granhag PA, Hershkowitz I, Masip J, et al. ‘Language of lies’: Urgent issues and prospects in verbal lie detection research. Legal and Criminological Psychology. 2019 Feb;24(1):1–23.

35. Leins DA, Fisher RP, Ross SJ. Exploring liars’ strategies for creating deceptive reports. Legal and Criminological Psychology. 2013 Feb;18(1):141–51.

36. Koo TK, Li MY. A guideline of selecting and reporting intraclass correlation coefficients for reliability research. Journal of chiropractic medicine. 2016 Jun 1;15(2):155–63. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2016.02.012 27330520

37. Dunn O. Multiple Comparisons Using Rank Sums. Technometrics. 1964;6(3):241.

38. Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. New York: Psychology Press; 1988.

39. Jarosz AF, Wiley J. What are the odds? A practical guide to computing and reporting Bayes factors. The Journal of Problem Solving. 2014;7(1):2–9.

40. Lee MD, Wagenmakers EJ. Bayesian cognitive modeling: A practical course. Cambridge university press; 2014 Apr 3.

41. Jeffreys H. Theory of probability. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

42. Van Swol LM, Paik JE. Deciding how to deceive: differences in communication and detection between good and bad liars. Communication Quarterly. 2017 Oct 20;65(5):503–22.

43. Whitty MT, Carville SE. Would I lie to you? Self-serving lies and other-oriented lies told across different media. Computers in Human Behavior. 2008 May 1;24(3):1021–31.

44. Nahari G, Vrij A. Systematic errors (biases) in applying verbal lie detection tools: richness in detail as a test case. Crime Psychology Review. 2015 Jan 1;1(1):98–107.

45. Hartwig M, Bond CF Jr. Why do lie-catchers fail? A lens model meta-analysis of human lie judgments. Psychological bulletin. 2011 Jul;137(4):643. doi: 10.1037/a0023589 21707129

46. Granhag PA, Hartwig M. A new theoretical perspective on deception detection: On the psychology of instrumental mind-reading. Psychology, Crime & Law. 2008 Jun 1;14(3):189–200.

47. Bogaard G, Meijer E, Vrij A, Merckelbach H. Strong, but Wrong: Lay People’s and Police Officers’ Beliefs about Verbal and Nonverbal Cues to Deception. Plos One. 2016;11(6):e0156615. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0156615 27258014

48. Ericsson K, Simon H. Verbal reports as data. Psychological Review. 1980;87(3):215–251.

49. Morrissey ER. Sources of error in the coding of questionnaire data. Sociological Methods & Research. 1974 Nov;3(2):209–32.

50. Syed M, Nelson SC. Guidelines for establishing reliability when coding narrative data. Emerging Adulthood. 2015 Dec;3(6):375–87.

51. Chan D. So why ask me? Are self-report data really that bad. Statistical and methodological myths and urban legends: Doctrine, verity and fable in the organizational and social sciences. 2009:309–36.

52. Landers RN, Behrend TS. An inconvenient truth: Arbitrary distinctions between organizational, Mechanical Turk, and other convenience samples. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 2015 Jun;8(2):142–64.

53. Chandler J, Shapiro D. Conducting clinical research using crowdsourced convenience samples. Annual review of clinical psychology. 2016 Mar 28;12.

54. Casler K, Bickel L, Hackett E. Separate but equal? A comparison of participants and data gathered via Amazon’s MTurk, social media, and face-to-face behavioral testing. Computers in Human Behavior. 2013;29(6):2156–2160.

55. Feitosa J, Joseph D, Newman D. Crowdsourcing and personality measurement equivalence: A warning about countries whose primary language is not English. Personality and Individual Differences. 2015;75:47–52.

56. Simons DJ, Chabris CF. Common (mis) beliefs about memory: A replication and comparison of telephone and Mechanical Turk survey methods. PloS one. 2012 Dec 18;7(12):e51876. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051876 23272183

57. Fleischer A, Mead AD, Huang J. Inattentive responding in MTurk and other online samples. Industrial and Organizational Psychology. 2015 Jun;8(2):196–202.

58. Crump MJ, McDonnell JV, Gureckis TM. Evaluating Amazon's Mechanical Turk as a tool for experimental behavioral research. PloS one. 2013 Mar 13;8(3):e57410. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0057410 23516406

59. Bond CF Jr, DePaulo BM. Accuracy of deception judgments. Personality and social psychology Review. 2006 Aug;10(3):214–34. doi: 10.1207/s15327957pspr1003_2 16859438

60. Luke TJ. Lessons from Pinocchio: Cues to deception may be highly exaggerated. Perspectives on Psychological Science. 2019 Jul;14(4):646–71. doi: 10.1177/1745691619838258 31173537

61. Johnson MK, Raye CL. Reality monitoring. Psychological review. 1981 Jan;88(1):67.

62. Steller M, Köhnken G. Criteria-based content analysis. In: Raskin DCed. Psychological methods in criminal investigation and evidence. New York: Spring Publishing Company. P. 217–45.

63. Evans JR, Michael SW, Meissner CA, Brandon SE. Validating a new assessment method for deception detection: Introducing a Psychologically Based Credibility Assessment Tool. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition. 2013 Mar 1;2(1):33–41.

Článok vyšiel v časopise


2019 Číslo 12