Deception Detection and Truth Detection Are Dependent on Different Cognitive and Emotional Traits: An Investigation of Emotional Intelligence, Theory of Mind, and Attention
AffiliationUniversity of Chester; Bangor University
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AbstractDespite evidence that variation exists between individuals in high-stakes truth and deception detection accuracy rates, little work has investigated what differences in individuals’ cognitive and emotional abilities contribute to this variation. Our study addressed this question by examining the role played by cognitive and affective theory of mind (ToM), emotional intelligence (EI), and various aspects of attention (alerting, orienting, executive control) in explaining variation in accuracy rates among 115 individuals [87 women; mean age = 27.04 years (SD = 11.32)] who responded to video clips of truth-tellers and liars in real-world, high-stakes contexts. Faster attentional alerting supported truth detection, and better cognitive ToM and perception of emotion (an aspect of EI) supported deception detection. This evidence indicates that truth and deception detection are distinct constructs supported by different abilities. Future research may address whether interventions targeting these cognitive and emotional traits can also contribute to improving detection skill.
CitationStewart, S. L. K., Wright, C., & Atherton, C. (2018). Deception detection and truth detection are dependent on different cognitive and emotional traits: An investigation of emotional intelligence, theory of mind, and attention. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 45(5), 794-807. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167218796795
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