Trust and deception with high stakes: Evidence from the friend or foe dataset

Xunyu Chen, Xinran Wang, Lee Spitzley, Jay Nunamaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many social interactions rely on the premise of mutual trust, but deception violates trust and poses risk. Empirically examining trust and deception, particularly in high-stakes situations, is challenging but essential for improving the research realism and generalizability. To address this difficulty, we study trusting and deceptive behaviors in a high-stakes situation by using a novel dataset created from an American game show, Friend or Foe (FoF). In the show, a contestant's reward was determined through a trust game modified from the prisoner's dilemma. We explore how numerous human behaviors including facial expressions, gaze, head pose, body motion, language, and socio-demographic attributes, were related to a contestant's trusting or deceptive decision. Using a data-driven approach, we find that the deceivers' (contestants who chose Foe) behavior featured a neutralized face, negative facial emotions, enhanced upper body motion, and language with a lower sense of immediacy and agreeableness. The contestants who chose to trust (chose Friend) exhibited opposite behavioral patterns. Socio-demographic factors such as age, height, and facial attractiveness were also associated with a contestant's choice. Combining multimodal information, machine learning classifiers could predict the contestant's choice with an accuracy about 25% greater than earlier reported human accuracy. We contribute to both trust and deception literature by examining the generalizability of trusting and deceptive behaviors to a new high-stakes scenario. We also add to the decision support literature by showing the superior predictive performances of combining behavioral and socio-demographic features. Furthermore, we contribute to the academic community by introducing the FoF dataset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113997
JournalDecision Support Systems
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Affective computing
  • Deception
  • Game show
  • Prisoner's dilemma
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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