Interpersonal deception: V. accuracy in deception detection

Judee K. Burgoon, David B. Buller, Amy S. Ebesu, Patricia Rockwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

134 Scopus citations


Previous research on accuracy in deception detection has typically occurred in a noninteractive context, which has resulted in many potentially salient influences being ignored. Guided by interpersonal deception theory, the current experiment examined the influences of suspicion, deception type, question type, relational familiarity, and expertise on accuracy in detecting truth and deceit. An adult sample of novices and a second sample of experts (military intelligence instructors and related military personnel) participated in interviews with strangers or acquaintances during which interviewees gave some truthful answers and some deceptive answers, the latter being one of three types. Interviewers, half of whom were induced to be suspicious, followed a standard interview protocol that introduced different question strategies. Results showed that (a) accuracy was much higher on truth than deception, (b) novices were more accurate than experts, (c) accuracy depended on type of deception being perpetrated and whether suspicion was present or absent, (d) suspicion impaired accuracy for experts, (e) truth-biases intensified with familiar others, especially when interviewers were suspicious, and (f) question strategy ameliorated or aggravated inaccuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-325
Number of pages23
JournalCommunication Monographs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'Interpersonal deception: V. accuracy in deception detection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this