The dynamic nature of deceptive verbal communication

Judee K. Burgoon, Tiantian Qin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Past research on verbal deception has found inconsistent patterns, possibly due to failure to consider the dynamic nature of interpersonal deception. The current investigation examined temporal changes and sequencing effects in truthful and deceptive responding on 23 linguistic measures. Interviewees responded to 12 questions during which they alternated between giving blocks of truthful and blocks of deceptive answers. Results showed significant variability in verbal behavior across the course of the interviewon virtually all measures. Deceptive responding differed from truthful responding depending on the truth-deception sequence and the phase of the interview. The truth-first order made it much easier for deceivers to approximate truthful discourse sooner. The existence of significant variability due to time and sequence has important implications for identifying reliable indicators of deception and for research paradigms used to investigate deceptive and truthful discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-96
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2006


  • Deception
  • Interpersonal communicatio
  • Language

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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